The Tampa Bay Lightning put together a huge third period to come from behind and defeat the Edmonton Oilers 7-4 Thursday night. The win for Tampa Bay ended Edmonton’s eight-game win streak as Steven Stamkos netted his first career four-goal night. Three of those goals for Stamkos came in the third period alone.
After leading 2-0 in the first period, the Lightning saw their lead slip fast as Edmonton scored three unanswered in the third. Down 3-2 coining into the third, the Lightning looked dead. Tampa Bay posted five goals in the third period but they owe a lot to Andrei Vasilevskiy making 51 saves on 54 Edmonton shots and keeping the game within reach.
88 Reasons Why
This was the first time this season where the Lightning can really say their goaltender stole one. This was the definition of stealing a game as the Lightning should have surrendered much more than just four goals on the night. The second period alone saw Edmonton record 23 shots on goal as Vasilevskiy kept the Lightning in the game and kept things from slipping.
The fact that Vasilevskiy kept this team in the game was nothing short of impressive as Edmonton was all over them with regularity. Tampa Bay was without Victor Hedman for the second straight game and were definitely struggling to defend the high powered offense for the Oilers but their goaltender was able to help them hang around and keep their deficit to one.
Second Period Struggles
After taking an early 2-0 lead in the first, the Oilers really began to find their game in the second half of the first period and the second. They were surging. Edmonton buried three goals in a row in the second period, all of which came on special teams. Two power play goals and a shorthanded goal.
The second period has been something that has been hurting this team of late, especially on this road trip. They have been outscored 9-0 in the second period of games through the first four games of this current trip. They had strong stretches of play in the first and the third of course, but the second period has been a challenge of late.
Captain Leads Charge in the Third
The Lightning looked just about done despite trailing by only a single goal in the third period. Steven Stamkos batting a puck out of the air for his second goal of the night really got the ball rolling for Tampa Bay. Nikita Kucherov would add another goal before Stamkos would find his third of the night on a sweet snipe from distance.
Anthony Cirelli would add an empty netter and Stamkos would get one as well to make it a four goal night. Tampa Bay did not have much going offensively through the first 40 minutes. This game was all about the captain putting the team on his back in the third period.