for this game

Lecavalier scores twice as Lightning top Oilers

Mar 8, 2007 - 10:11 AM
EDMONTON, Alberta (Ticker) -- Vincent Lecavalier continues to score goals. The Edmonton Oilers continue to struggle to do the same.

Lecavalier netted a pair of tallies to extend his league-leading total to 45 and Vaclav Prospal added a goal and an assist as the Tampa Bay Lightning skated to a 3-1 triumph over the offensively challenged Oilers.

Entering with a franchise-record 43 goals, Lecavalier began his fifth multi-goal performance of the season with 6 1/2 minutes remaining in the second period, giving the Lightning a 2-0 lead with his third in four games. The tally proved to be the game-winner, his seventh of the campaign, which matches his personal high as well as the club mark.

Lecavalier capped the victory and recorded his league-high 53rd road point with an empty-netter in the final minute of the third. With the win, the Lightning halted a two-game skid and improved to 2-2-0 on their season-high six-game road trip.

"It was a huge game," Lecavalier said. "Anytime you lose two in a row, you have to find a way to win the game. I didn't think we played a great first period, but we definitely came out in the second and played better and played the way we played a month ago, when we were winning."

Martin St. Louis registered two assists and defenseman Dan Boyle helped set up Prospal's goal for his career-high 54th point for Tampa Bay (38-27-4), which pulled even in points with idle Atlanta (35-23-10) for first place in the Southeast Division and moved within one of Pittsburgh (36-21-9) for fifth in the Eastern Conference.

"It was very important," Prospal said of the win. "We're fighting for first place in our division and Atlanta has picked up their play, so we have to step up and get some wins on this road trip as well. We lost two games prior to this one, so this was a big game for us statement-wise and confidence-wise because we can't afford to let these points slip away."

"No doubt they were big points," St. Louis added. "This is a big trip for us and it's tough to come out here and get points, so it's good to bounce back after (the loss at Vancouver on Tuesday)."

Defenseman Ladislav Smid helped Edmonton avoid being shut out for the third time in four games by tallying late in the third. The goal was only the Oilers' fourth during their current five-game losing streak and first by someone other than Fernando Pisani.

"I don't know if we're cursed," Oilers captain Jason Smith said. "We're having a rough stretch and we've just got to continue to get through it."

Jussi Markkanen made 22 saves for Edmonton, which concluded an 0-4-0 homestand.

After a scoreless first period, Prospal gave Tampa Bay the lead with his third tally in four games. During a power play, the Czech fired a one-timer from the slot off a feed from Brad Richards that beat Markkanen to the glove side at 10:49.

"We pride ourselves down below the hash marks, and we haven't done that really well lately, so we talked about that after the first (period)," Richards said.

The assist by Richards was the 300th of his career.

Lecavalier doubled the advantage 2:41 later. From behind the net, Prospal bounced a pass to the All-Star for a one-timer that sailed over Markkanen's right shoulder for a 2-0 cushion.

"To tire them out, you have to play in their zone and chip it in, get them tired," Lecavalier said. "Tonight, it paid off."

Smid spoiled Marc Denis' shutout bid with 2:35 remaining in the third, unleashing a wrist shot from the left point that found its way through a crowd and past the netminder for his second goal of the season.

The injury-riddled Oilers lost two more players in defensemen Jan Hejda (shoulder) and Steve Staios (knee). Edmonton now has 10 players currently sidelined, including five blue-liners.

"It's been one of those years where injuries have plagued us," Pisani said. "It's tough battling right now, and then we lose two defensemen on top of it. I haven't seen anything this bad, injury-wise. Just when you think things can't get worse, they do."

"I don't think I've been on a team where we've had this many guys go down to injury," Smith added.

In desperation, Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish moved center Toby Petersen to defense and gave rookie Danny Syvret more ice time than usual.

"Toby looked good back there and Danny Syvret moved it well," MacTavish said. "We're totally running out of bodies."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 0 2 1 3
    EDMONTON 0 0 1 1 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: TAM - (PP) VACLAV PROSPAL 12 (BRAD RICHARDS, DAN BOYLE)
    10:49
    TAM - VINCENT LECAVALIER 44 (VACLAV PROSPAL, MARTIN ST.
    LOUIS) 13:30
    3RD PRD: EDM - LADISLAV SMID 2 (RAFFI TORRES, JOFFREY LUPUL) 17:25
    TAM

    Mar 8 12:24 AM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 3
    EDMONTON 1
    3RD PRD: TAM - (EN) VINCENT LECAVALIER 45 (MARTIN ST. LOUIS, DOUG
    JANIK) 19:22

    Lightning vs. OilersMar 8 12:24 AM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 2
    EDMONTON 1
    3RD PRD: EDM - LADISLAV SMID 2 (RAFFI TORRES, JOFFREY LUPUL) 17:25

    Lightning vs. OilersMar 8 12:21 AM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 0 2 2
    EDMONTON 0 0 0 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: TAM - (PP) VACLAV PROSPAL 12 (BRAD RICHARDS, DAN BOYLE)
    10:49
    TAM - VINCENT LECAVALIER 44 (VACLAV PROSPAL, MARTIN ST.
    LOUIS) 13:30
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- ---

    Mar 7 11:35 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 2
    EDMONTON 0
    2ND PRD: TAM - VINCENT LECAVALIER 44 (VACLAV PROSPAL, MARTIN ST.
    LOUIS) 13:30

    Lightning vs. OilersMar 7 11:23 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 1
    EDMONTON 0
    2ND PRD: TAM - (PP) VACLAV PROSPAL 12 (BRAD RICHARDS, DAN BOYLE) 10:49

    Lightning vs. OilersMar 7 11:17 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 0 0
    EDMONTON 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TAM 7 7
    EDM 10 10
    GOALIES: TAM - MARC DENIS
    EDM - JUSSI MARKKANEN

    Mar 7 10:44 PM