July 24th, 2024

Stamkos scores four, Lightning end Oilers’ win streak with 7-4 victory

By Shane Jones, The Canadian Press on December 14, 2023.

Tampa Bay Lightning' Nick Paul (20) is tripped up by Edmonton Oilers' Evan Bouchard (2) during first period NHL action in Edmonton on Thursday December 14, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

EDMONTON – Steven Stamkos scored four goals as the Tampa Bay Lightning found a way to douse the red-hot Oilers, emerging with a 7-4 victory over Edmonton on Thursday.

Tyler Motte, Nikita Kucherov and Anthony Cirelli also scored for the Lightning (14-12-5), who have won four of their last six outings.

Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy made 51 saves for the win.

Darnell Nurse, Connor McDavid, Zach Hyman and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins replied for the Oilers (13-13-1), who saw their winning streak halted at eight games, one shy of tying their franchise record.

Tampa Bay got off to a quick start with a power-play goal just 67 seconds into the opening period as Nick Paul won a battle in front of the Edmonton net and sent it over to Stamkos, who wired a snapshot past Oilers starter Stuart Skinner.

It was Stamkos’ 200th career power-play marker, making him just the 20th player in NHL history to hit the benchmark.

The Lightning extended their lead seven minutes into the first period as Tyler Motte picked up a loose puck in front and swatted home a backhand shot for his first goal of the season.

Edmonton outshot Tampa 15-7 in the first period, but Vasilevskiy was solid in net for the visiting squad.

The Oilers got on the board with a short-handed goal 1:23 into the second period as Nugent-Hopkins sprung Nurse, who used his body as a shield before chipping it past Vasilevskiy for his fifth of the year.

Edmonton tied the game on the power play 7:20 into the middle frame as McDavid won a draw and then golfed the loose puck into the net for his 11th, extending his points streak to 11 games.

The Oilers surged ahead with another power-play marker midway through the second as Hyman ticked an Evan Bouchard bullet in for his 17th.

Bouchard stretched his own point streak to 13 games, the second-longest by a defenceman in franchise history behind only current assistant coach Paul Coffey. Bouchard is only the fifth active blueliner to extend a point streak to 13 games.

The home side outshot Tampa 23-7 in the second period to make it 38-14 through 40 minutes.

The Lightning pulled back even with 13:12 to play in the third as Stamkos showed off his hands by batting a rebound out of mid-air and bouncing it past Skinner for his second goal of the contest.

Tampa Bay regained the lead with seven minutes to play as Kucherov battled hard to get a shot off and beat Skinner on a goal he would like to have back as it slipped through his legs. It was Kucherov’s 20th of the season.

Skinner looked bad on another goal just 1:15 later as he waved a glove at a Stamkos shot that went off the post and in for his third of the game.

Edmonton made it interesting with 2:22 left and Skinner pulled as Bouchard found Nugent-Hopkins at the side of the net, where he shovelled in his seventh.

Tampa Bay put the game away with a pair of empty netters, first from Cirelli and then with Stamkos’ fourth goal of the game and 14th of the campaign.

NOTES – Edmonton has had eight eight-game winning streaks in franchise history, but has only made it to nine games twice. The Oilers did it in 2001 and then won their final nine games of the 2022-2023 season”¦ The Lightning were without defenceman Victor Hedman (upper body), although he could be back in the lineup again as early as Saturday”¦ The game featured the last seven Art Ross Trophy winners. Since 2017, only Nikita Kucherov, Connor McDavid or Leon Draisaitl have won the NHL scoring race.

UP NEXT – Both teams return to action on Saturday. The Lightning close out a five-game road trip in Calgary against the Flames. The Oilers cap off a six-game homestand against the Florida Panthers.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 14, 2023.

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