NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Sunday, January 5th
(All times Eastern)
Tampa Bay Lightning (25-12-4) at Edmonton Oilers (13-26-5), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Tampa Bay Lightning will take aim at a sixth
consecutive road victory when they visit the struggling Edmonton Oilers for
Sunday's clash at Rexall Place.
The Lightning are 2-0 so far on a four-game road trip, giving the club five
straight wins as the guest and improving Tampa's away record this season to
11-8-2. The Bolts haven't lost on the road since dropping a 3-0 decision at
New Jersey on Dec. 14.
Tampa won for the seventh time in nine games overall by blanking the Calgary
Flames by a 2-0 score on Friday. Ben Bishop stopped 19 shots for his fourth
shutout of the season, tying him with Tuukka Rask of the Boston Bruins for
the NHL lead.
Ondrej Palat and Nikita Kucherov scored for the Lightning, and Palat extended
his point streak to a career-best five games.
"I feel like every game, my confidence is getting better," Palat said. "Maybe
it's because I play with Marty (St. Louis) and Johnny (Tyler Johnson)."
Bishop is expected to get the start on Sunday and he is 2-0 with a 1.00 goals
against average in his career against Edmonton. The American netminder helped
Tampa beat a visiting Oilers club by a 4-2 score on Nov. 7 and Bishop also
notched a shutout in Edmonton on Feb. 25, 2011, when he was a member of the
St. Louis Blues.
Tampa has won two straight and six of its last nine meetings with the Oilers,
but Edmonton has claimed two in a row and four of the last six encounters in
The Lightning are scheduled to close their road trip Tuesday evening in
The Oilers, who are last in the Western Conference with 31 points, enter
Sunday having lost four straight and 10 of their last 12 games. The club has
allowed a total of 18 goals over its last four outings and Edmonton has
surrendered five markers in each of its past two trips to the ice.
After losing at San Jose by a 5-1 count on Thursday, the Oilers dropped a 5-2
decision the following night in Anaheim. Ben Lovejoy notched his first career
two-goal effort to lead the Ducks, who overcame an early 2-1 deficit to breeze
past the Oilers at Honda Center.
Boyd Gordon and Nail Yakupov had first-period goals for Edmonton and Ilya
Bryzgalov recorded 32 saves in the loss.
The Oilers led 2-1 after Yakupov recorded his eighth goal of the season with
8:54 left in the opening period. However, Lovejoy scored twice in the final
2:48 of the period to give Anaheim the lead for good.
"It was a little stunning behind the bench. It was great to get that first one
and for them to come right back the way they did, it took the wind out of our
sails a little bit. It was a bit of a crazy period, back and forth," said
Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins.
Edmonton is back home after going 0-2-1 on a recent three-game road trip, but
the Oilers have lost three of their last four tilts as the host. Tonight's
test marks the start of a three-game homestand for the Oilers, who are just
6-11-2 in front of the home crowd this season.
The Lightning could have defenseman Sami Salo back in the lineup on Sunday
after he sat out the last four games due to an upper-body injury. Salo has one
goal and six assists in 34 tests for Tampa this season.
01/05 11:07:59 ET