TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Tampa Bay needed a desperate finish to
finally end its five-game home losing streak.
Martin St. Louis had a goal and two assists to give Tampa Bay a
4-3 win over the Edmonton Oilers that was the Lightning's third
straight overall, renewing hope for a playoff bid despite their
position at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings.
"I felt they needed to do that," Lightning coach John
Tortorella said. "Not just look at your record, look where you're
at in regards to everybody else. There are so many teams fighting
the way we are."
Craig MacDonald made it 2-0 less than four minutes later with a
slap shot from the left circle. St. Louis extended the lead with a
short-handed goal, tapping in his own rebound at the 9:17 mark.
Fifty-one seconds later, Andrew Cogliano broke through for
Edmonton with a power-play goal. The shot from close range halted a
shutout string of 151 minutes, 37 seconds by Johan Holmqvist. The
Tampa Bay goalie was coming off consecutive shutouts at Pittsburgh
"I was wide open back door and the guy made a good stick play
and it trickled behind me a little," Cogliano said. "I just got
the puck and shot it in. It wasn't a terrific goal, but it got
Vincent Lecavalier restored the three-goal advantage on a power
play at 5:51 of the third, reaching the 30-goal mark for the fifth
Then things got interesting.
Staios slammed the second Edmonton goal past Holmqvist with 7:05
remaining, and Hemsky made it 4-3 with 1:19 to play. The Oilers
played the final minute with an empty net to no avail.
"Obviously, we'd like to finish better than that, but a win is
a win," St. Louis said. "We'll address the mistakes. Sometimes
you need to get a win like that."
Despite their place in the standings, Tampa Bay is determined to
make a run at the Southeast Division crown. Their victory Tuesday,
combined with Carolina's 6-3 loss to the New York Islanders, got
the Lightning within seven points of the division-leading
"It doesn't amaze me because it's been like that for the last
two or three years," Lecavalier said. "There's a little more
parity in the league. You've got to take it game by game and make
sure we keep playing the way we are."
Oilers D Joni Pitkanen returned after missing two games
with a groin strain. ... Lightning D Dan Boyle (wrist) may play for
the first time since Nov. 3 as soon as Thursday. ... Tampa Bay
coach John Tortorella joined Herb Brooks atop the all-time list of
games coached by an American at 506. ... The Lightning have not
allowed a first-period goal in their last four games and only one
in their past six. ... The Oilers hadn't visited Tampa since a 3-2
loss on Dec. 5, 2002. ... Dallas co-general manager Brett Hull
scouted the game.