Game 73: Edmonton Oilers versus Tampa Bay Lightning

The Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Edmonton Oilers 3-2 in a shootout at the Tampa Bay Times Forum Thursday night.

Probably the last thing anybody expected when they looked at this match-up and saw 42-year-old Dwayne Roloson paired off against 39-year-old Nikolai Khabibulin in net was a good ol' fashioned goalie duel. But that's pretty much what they got.

Roloson emerged the victor, stopping 34 of 36 shots he faced in regulation and overtime and another four out of six he faced in the shootout.

"He looked calm and in control. He's worked hard for it" - Lightning coach Guy Boucher.

The first period came and went with nobody scoring. The Lightning were outshot 15-7 at that point. They would eventually be outshot 36-21 on the game.

At 3:24 of the second, on the Lightning's 11th shot, Tom Pyatt scored on the power play with assists from Victor Hedman and Brett Connolly.

The Oilers tied the game at 9:57 on a goal by Linus Omark with help from Ryan Whitney and Ryan Smyth.

The Lightning regained the lead at 18:18 when Pyatt scored again, this time getting helpers from J.T. Wyman and Tim Wallace.

The Lightning carried the 2-1 lead into the third period and almost made it stand up. But at the 16:13 mark, Ladislav Smid tied the game again, thank to assists from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Sam Gagner.

Regulation ended in a 2-2 tie and neither team scored in overtime, in spite of the Lightning having a power play for the final two minutes of the extra period.

In the shootout, Gagner and Ales Hemsky scored for Edmonton while Tampa Bay got goals from Steven Stamkos, Martin St. Louis and Teddy Purcell to earn the extra point.

In spite of such a solid effort coming so late in a season in which he has struggled mightily, Roloson shrugged off any suggestions that the game marked any kind of personal redemption:

"It's just a win for us. It's not personal or anything, just a team win. It's over and done with and now I'm going to focus on the next game." - Dwayne Roloson

The Lightning will conclude this homestand, the longest of the season, Saturday night when they host the New York Islanders.

Game notes:

  • This was the first shootout win at home this season for the Lightning. They're now 3-3 in shootout games on the season.
  • Tom Pyatt has recorded career highs in goals (10) and points (16) this season. This was the first multi-point game of his career.
  • The Lightning are 7-2-0 in games in which Pyatt scores a goal.
  • This was the Oilers' first visit to Tampa Bay since December 9, 2009.
  • It was also the first time former Lightning goalie Nikolai Khabibulin has started a game at the Forum since Game 7 of the 2004 Stanley Cup Finals. He received a nice ovation from the crowd when a video montage of some of his highlights with the Lightning was shown on the scoreboard during the first period.
  • The Lightning honored Audrey Scheidenhelm as a Lightning Community Hero during the first period of tonight’s game against the Edmonton Oilers. Scheidenhelm, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to the College Fund of Pinellas County. Scheidenhelm has been a community hero to more than 630 financially-disadvantaged college students who have received her personal, one-on-one encouragement and support in every aspect of their college experience. In the 1960s she witnessed the racial disparity in educational opportunities and took action to reach out to local leaders and school officials. She began programs to mentor and shepherd bright young minorities through the ever-changing environment of discrimination to become competitive to attend any college. The actions she took led to the creation of the College Fund of Pinellas County, Inc. in 1966 in which she served continuously for 46 years. There are now 137 different colleges that have enrolled her students from Pinellas County, thanks to Scheidenhelm’s untiring efforts. She is as enthusiastic and passionate as she was 50 years ago, helping the next generation get a good education, and inspiring them to contribute to their community. She personally follows the path of each College Fund recipient from the selection process through four years of college until graduation. This is a nearly full-time volunteer job that reaches out to many as 45 students a year, in which she eagerly and lovingly communicates and encourages each one. She not only raises funds to give $500 a semester to each student, but also dedicates her time to keeping a close eye on how each student can succeed. Scheidenhelm does extraordinary things like helping a student shop for a wedding dress and plan a wedding. She understands the difficulties caused by a lack of sufficient funds, and offers much needed friendly advice, sometimes being truthful and strict at the same time. Many students don’t have family support, and she provides it without complaint.