Lightning win 9th straight, top Oilers 3-1

Lightning 3 Oilers 1

TAMPA, Fla. — Yanni Gourde scored a short-handed goal and Andrei Vasilevskiy finished with 29 saves to lift the Tampa Bay Lightning to their ninth straight victory, 3-1 over the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday night.

Tampa Bay also won its 10th in a row at home.

Vasilevskiy improved to 18-0-2 in his past 20 starts. Pat Maroon and Cedric Paquette also scored for the Lightning, who won despite playing without top two scorers Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov.

Caleb Jones scored for Edmonton, which played its second consecutive game without Connor McDavid, who is out 2-to-3 weeks with a thigh injury. Mike Smith finished with 34 saves for the Oilers, who lost for the fourth time in regulation in the past 16 games.

Gourde, who ended a 35-game drought on Tuesday, scored the winner on a short-handed breakaway at 13:01 of the second period, beating Smith with a backhander over the shoulder.

Maroon opened up the scoring at 4:39 of the second period with his seventh goal of the season. After a shot from the right point by Luke Schenn deflected off Cameron Gaunce to behind the goal line, Maroon quickly found the loose puck and stuffed it between the near post and Smith’s left pad. The assist for Gaunce was his first NHL point since March 24, 2017, when he was a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Edmonton pulled even at 9:36 when Jones cut down the slot and after his initial shot was blocked, picked up the rebound and fired a shot to the top corner for his third goal of the season.

Paquette scored into an empty net with 55.1 seconds left.

NOTES: Stamkos missed his third consecutive game with a lower-body injury, though he took part in the team’s morning skate. … Vasilevskiy recorded his 7,000th career save in the first period. … Tampa Bay C Tyler Johnson and Edmonton RW Kailer Yamamoto both hail from Spokane, Washington, where they train together in the summer. Thursday was the first time they’ve met in an NHL game.

UP NEXT

Oilers: at Florida Panthers on Saturday.

Lightning: host Philadelphia on Saturday.

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