NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, February 24th
(All times eastern)
Tampa Bay Lightning (20-28-12) at Edmonton Oilers (29-25-5), 9 p.m.
(Sports Network) - If the Edmonton Oilers are to avoid their longest losing
streak since the season's opening month, they will have to best a club they
haven't defeated in seven years.
Edmonton will try to avoid a fourth straight overall loss and also snap a
four-game skid versus the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight at Rexall Place.
The Oilers have struggled since a three-game winning streak that began with a
7-2 rout of the Montreal Canadiens on February 11. Edmonton has dropped three
in a row, losing to a trio of playoff-caliber clubs in San Jose, Dallas and
The club did pick up its first point on its current slide when it dropped a
3-2 shootout decision to the Flames on Saturday. Calgary's Matthew Lombardi
tied the game late in the third period and Todd Bertuzzi scored the lone goal
in the shootout.
Erik Cole and Ales Hemsky lit the lamp and Shawn Horcoff recorded two assists
for the Oilers, who are on their first three-game losing streak since December
16-19. They haven't been defeated in four straight since a five-game skid from
Making his 15th straight start, the Oilers' Dwayne Roloson turned away 30 of
the 32 shots he faced. He has a 3.33 goals against average over Edmonton's
current slide and is 3-2-0 with a tie and 1.96 GAA lifetime versus Tampa Bay.
The Oilers play the second test of a four-game homestand tonight and are
13-11-4 as the host. Edmonton is currently tied for ninth overall in the
Western Conference, a point back of eighth-seeded Minnesota.
Edmonton will try to notch its first win over Tampa Bay since March 6, 2002.
That victory was the Oilers' sixth straight in the series, but they have lost
four straight to the Lightning since, including a 4-3 setback in Tampa on
January 22 of last season.
The Lightning, who have won two straight in Edmonton, halted a four-game
losing streak on Sunday with a 4-3 victory over the Eastern Conference-leading
Vinny Prospal netted the game-winner on the power play late in the third
period to lift Tampa. Jeff Halpern registered a goal and an assist, while Adam
Hall and Mark Recchi also scored.
Karri Ramo made 40 saves, including 15 over the final 20 minutes, to earn the
win. He improved to 2-3-1 with a 4.04 GAA this season and has never faced the
Oilers before in his career.
Tampa Bay will try to win back-to-back games tonight for the first time since
a three-game win streak from January 19-27.
The Lightning enter the opener of a three-game road trip riding a five-game
skid as the visiting club. Just 9-16-4 as the guest this year, Tampa Bay
hasn't won on the road since January 12 in Los Angeles.
02/24 11:16:37 ET