Red-hot Lightning knock off Edmonton Oilers

The Edmonton Oilers couldn’t overcome the NHL’s hottest team, losing 3-1 to the Tampa Bay Lightning in Florida on Thursday night.

The Lightning are 26-6-2 since Dec. 1 and have won nine straight games.

READ MORE: Edmonton Oilers begin life without McDavid with win over Blackhawks

The first period was scoreless. It looked like Tampa Bay’s Tyler Johnson was going to pot an early goal for the Lightning, but he fired a shot off the crossbar despite having an open net.

Patrick Maroon gave Tampa Bay the lead before the second was five minutes old. He nudged a puck from behind the net off Edmonton goaltender Mike Smith’s back and just over the line for his seventh goal of the season.

Oilers defenceman Caleb Jones beat Lightning netminder Andrei Vasilevskiy with a wrister from the slot to even it up.

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Tampa Bay forward Yanni Gourde came back with a goal on a shorthanded breakaway. It was the second game in a row the Oilers have allowed a shorthanded goal.

READ MORE: Leon Draisaitl fires home two as Edmonton Oilers evade Predators

Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl had the best chance to tie the game in the third as he was set up by Jones to the right of the net, but Vasilevskiy got across to make the save.

Tampa Bay’s Cedric Paquette sealed it with an empty netter in the final minute.

Smith made 34 saves and lost in regulation time for the first time since Dec. 20. Draisaitl had an assist for his 90th point of the season.

Edmonton’s Zack Kassian appeared to kick Tampa Bay’s Eric Cernak in the chest while the two were tangled up late in the first period.

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The Oilers (30-21-6) will visit the Florida Panthers on Saturday.

Watch below: Some videos from Global News’ coverage of the Edmonton Oilers’ 2019-20 season.

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