GDT – Edmonton Oilers 3, Tampa Bay Lightning 2 – Dec 9, 2009 @ 5:30 PM – CENTER ICE FREE PREVIEW – Game 31
The Oilers are on game 4 now of a 5-game road trip, and so far things have gone almost as well as they possibly could, earning 6 of a possible 6 points. A win vs. Tampa will make it their longest streak of the season so far. Tampa are on a bit of a streak of their own, but are not so lucky. They have dropped 5 of their last 6 contests.
Still yet, the Oilers need to take these guys seriously, much like they did against the Panthers. Prediction time for me: Heart says – 5-2 Oilers. Brain says – 4-3 Oilers in SO. You have to wonder if the Oilers can keep the streak going… but I’m pretty sure they can.
Btw, if I’m home in time, I’ll try to put up the game stream here.
Edmonton Oilers Projected Line-Up (subject to change)
Tampa Bay Lightning Projected Line-Up (subject to change/taken from HFBoards)
– Grebeshkov is back practicing with the team but is unlikely to play in Tampa. There is a good chance he’ll play on Friday against St. Louis, however.
– Khabibulin’s recovery process has been very slow. Tambellini guesstimates that he is “25% better”. They will re-evaluate things in a week or so, but don’t expect him back soon.
– Continuing the injury update trend, Ales Hemsky underwent successful shoulder surgery. He’ll be out a while, but should the Oilers make the playoffs, we may see Hesmky in another game yet, this season.
– Fernando Pisani skated on Monday. He’s not likely to be back until later in January.
– Marc Pouliot is about 10 days away and has been skating with the team for a few weeks, according to Jason Gregor of Team 1260. Gregor also believes he’ll get a conditioning stint in Springfield upon his return.
1ST PERIOD SUMMARY
1:08 – TBL – St. Louis from Lecavalier, Malone
Lecavalier and Souray come in on a two on one on Souray. Souray cheats to Lecavalier, who gets it to St. Louis who puts it past Deslauriers.
11:21 – EDM – Gilbert from Nilsson, Stortini
Stortini goes in hard on the forecheck and gets the puck behind the net and puts it around to Nilsson who catches Gilbert sneaking in from the point.
– Potulny gets hammered onto his butt by Fedoruk in front of the Lightning net.
– Penner gets behind Meszaros on a 2-on-1 with Brule, but can’t quite get to the pass. However he draws a penalty on the play.
– Gagner cuts the powerplay very short by taking a holding call.
– Deslauriers makes a great save on St. Louis then Fedoruk on the rebound.
– Stortini and Konopka go at it. Not very many punches landed. One was a big uppercut from Stortini though. Neither could really get an arm free though.
– Penner stick handles in a phone booth in the Oil zone to get the rush going up ice. It winds up behind the Lightning net eventually where Gagner tries to bank it in off the back of Smith, but no such luck.
– Good set of saves by Deslauriers on the Stamkos line with under a half minute left in the period.
2ND PERIOD SUMMARY
6:31 – EDM – Penner from Gagner, Brule
Brule brings it into the zone and drops to Gagner who shoots it from the boards on a bad angle. Smith kicks the rebound out front to Penner who simply bangs it into the wide open net.
7:34 – TBL – Hedman from St. Louis
St. Louis winds up for the slap but finds Hedman streaking in from the point. He hits him with the slap pass and Hedman puts it up under the bar.
11:07 – EDM – Stortini from Stone
Stone nails foster on a dump in, Stortini steals the puck away and comes out front of the net and just throws it in… Gordie Howe hat trick.
– Stone and Downie drop the gloves. Stone lands several good shots on Downie. Downie lands a couple of his own, but Stone definitely gets the win.
– Fedoruk throws a big hit on Visnovsky in the corner. Visnovsky looks a bit uneasy going in the corner the next play.
– Stone runs over Downie just after the whistle and a pile-on ensues. Stortini drops them with Konopka on the shift, but loses his balance. Credit to Konopka for not throwing punches with him on the ice.
– Brule gets a BAD call against him for goaltender interference as he was knocked into Smith from behind.
3RD PERIOD SUMMARY
– O’Sullivan gets knocked down on his butt at the Lightning blue line but manages to stick handle around a player, and go behind his back to Horcoff to keep the play going.
– Potulny is robbed on a backhand shot by Smith, from in close.
– The whistle blows and Stortini comes flying in for a check on Downie and topples onto him. Stortini gets a penalty for roughing.
– On the PK, Penner carries the puck out of the zone, bowling past a d-man and in on Smith, but he runs out of room to do much.
– Deslauriers does a good job of shutting the door on Downie from in close.
– Jacques has his stick break, but does a good job pouncing on a pass and gloving it out of the zone.
– On an Oilers powerplay with Konopka in the box, the Lightning pressure the Oilers in their zone, with St. Louis bumping Nilsson off a puck and winning battles, killing some good time on the clock.
– Deslauriers makes a great save on a cross seam one timer from Downie with 20 seconds left.
Pretty decent game played by the Oilers. They had a tough time in their own zone, as always, but Jeff Deslauriers did a great job of keeping it close. Penner and Brule also had a very good game together. Penner in particular was showcasing his abilities. It’s hard not to think of him as having a shot at Team Canada now.
The Oilers are now 4 for 4 on this roadtrip (this is the longest win streak of the season now), which I doubt anyone would have guessed to happen, even as soft as this road trip has been. This game was probably the toughest one yet, as the Lightning’s top line looked pretty hard to handle.
Next up, St. Louis, on Friday, in St. Louis. Game time is 6:00 and the game will be televised on Sportsnet.
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