Game 46 recap: Bolts third period comeback win extends Oilers road woes

The Tampa Bay Lightning snapped their two-game losing streak with a third period comeback win, their first of the season, beating the Edmonton Oilers 3-2 at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Thursday night.

The Tampa Bay Lightning came from behind in the third period to beat the Edmonton Oilers 3-2 at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Thursday night.

It certainly wasn't a stellar effort from the home team, at least not for most of the first two periods, but it was good enough to snap a two game losing streak incurred during the team's recent road trip. Speaking of streaks, there were a few in play tonight. The Lightning entered tonight's game with a record of 0-13-1 when trailing after two periods (this, in spite of coming into tonight tied with Montreal with 53 third period goals, best in the NHL). Meanwhile, the Oilers were 0-7-6 in their last 13 road games, following wins against Buffalo and the Rangers, their only two victories away from home this season.

Lightning special teams continue to struggle, as Edmonton got on the board first, scoring shorthanded at 13:52. They netted what would be the only goal of the period, when Benoit Pouliot chased down a rebound from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

The Lightning actually benefited from a penalty against them when they tied the game at 7:10 of the second. Matthew Carle had just finished serving two minutes for goaltender interference, exited the box and camped at the Oilers blue line. From there, he received a long pass from Jason Garrison and then fed Steven Stamkos who tallied the equalizer.

The Oilers regained the lead late in the period, with Pouliot scoring on the power play at 19:03. He was assisted by Taylor Hall and Nugent-Hopkins.

The teams headed into the second intermission with Edmonton leading 2-1. All things considered, the Lightning were fortunate to be down by just one goal at that point.

"Next time, we've got to be better, we have to start better. Our first two periods were not good. We had ten shots on goal after the second. I think we're too good a team for 10 shots. We need to shoot way more." - Lightning forward Ondrej Palat

For the record, the Lightning would go on to be outshot 32-19, with Lightning goalie Ben Bishop turning away 30 shots.

The teams came out to start the third period with either the Oilers road losing streak or the Lightning's no-third-period-comeback streak poised to come to an end.

The Bolts tied the game again at the 1:33 mark, with Palat scoring on helpers from Nikita Kucherov and Tyler Johnson, who was originally not expected to be in the lineup.

They took the lead for the first time at 11:59, with Palat again, this time scoring the eventual game winner. He was assisted by Johnson and Vladislav Namestnikov on the play.

"Our first two periods, our energy level wasn't there. We were a little sloppy, we didn't go to the net, we just didn't shoot enough and that was the difference in the third. We were on, we had good energy, were hitting guys. We have to play with a little swag and I think we did that in the third." - Palat

This is the first of a three-game homestand for the Lightning, all against Western Conference opponents, and they will be in action again on Saturday when they host the Colorado Avalanche.

Game notes:

  • This concludes the season series between the Oilers and Lightning, with the teams splitting the two games.
  • The Lightning ran their current home winning streak to six games.
  • Pouliot has scored the Oilers' last five goals.
  • With the win, the Lightning have reached the 60-point mark (28-14-4)
  • The Lightning and Oilers have only faced each other six times in Tampa since the beginning of the 2002-03 season, but the Lightning hold a 5-1-0 record in those games.
  • As mentioned, all-star center Tyler Johnson returned to the lineup after missing one game with a "lower body injury". He notched two assists and a plus one in 17:35 of ice time. He skated during the morning practice, wearing a red "no contact" jersey.
  • The Lightning honored Loreen Spencer as the 22rd Lightning Community Hero of the season during the first period of tonight's game. Spencer, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to Gift of Adoption. Having experienced the blessing of being an adoptive parent, Spencer felt compelled to encourage others to provide a home for children without a family of their own. However, she realized that many families interested in adopting a child were being hindered due to financial obstacles. Spencer did not believe these obstacles should keep worthy parents from providing a home, love and stability to a child in need of these, so in 2002, she founded the Florida Chapter of Gifts of Adoption, a 501(c)3 public charity intended to inspire adoption by providing grants to qualified parents. To date, Spencer's efforts as the founder of Gift of Adoption Florida Chapter have accumulated to over $650,000 in grants to complete adoptions of more than 225 children from the U.S. and abroad. She has also helped support the development of 10 additional chapters across the nation. In addition to leading the Gift of Adoption Florida Chapter, Spencer serves on the board of two non-profit organizations, Goodwill Industries Suncoast Board of Directors and St. John's Episcopal Parish Day School Board of Trustees.Community hero/