Lightning at Oilers game preview
Game time: 8 p.m. ET, Sunday
TV: Sun Sports Florida
For almost a month, the Tampa Bay Lightning couldn’t win on the road.
Now, they can’t lose.
The surging Lightning seek their sixth straight victory away from home and will try to hand the lowly Edmonton Oilers a fifth consecutive loss Sunday night.
Tampa Bay (25-12-4) was outscored 27-11 and shut out three times during an 0-5-2 road stretch from Nov. 16-Dec. 14, but the Lightning have turned it around with an 18-5 goal advantage during a five-game road winning streak.
It’s their longest surge away from home since a six-game run Jan. 8-Feb. 7, 2008, and two shy of the franchise-record seven-game streak set Jan. 7-Feb. 1, 2007.
"We’ve been playing well and have been fast. That’s been the main key," winger Ondrej Palat told the Lightning’s official website after Friday’s 2-0 victory at Calgary in the second of a four-game trip.
Ben Bishop stopped 19 shots for his fourth shutout of the season and Palat added a goal with an assist to help the Lightning to their seventh win in nine contests.
"That might have been one of our best games of the year from start to finish," Bishop said. "The big thing (Friday was) we never took our foot off the gas. We played a full 60 minutes."
Among the NHL leaders with a 22-5-3 record, 1.83 goals-against average and .936 save percentage, Bishop has a 1.45 GAA during his current 8-0-2 stretch. Left off the U.S. roster for next month’s Olympics, Bishop has posted two shutouts and stopped all but five of the 140 shots he’s faced while starting each game during the road streak.
In his first full NHL season, Palat has recorded two goals and four assists during a five-game point streak while learning from some of the team’s top scorers.
"Playing with Martin St. Louis and Tyler Johnson has been big for me," said Palat, who has 18 points in 41 games. "It’s been building my confidence and the main reason for my success."
Tampa Bay has earned at least a point in 12 of its last 14 games and is 13-7-4 since star Steven Stamkos was sidelined with a broken leg. Though Stamkos is nearing a return, the Lighting won’t have him Sunday.
Stamkos scored twice, Bishop made 38 saves and Johnson added a goal during Tampa Bay’s 4-2 home win over the Oilers (13-26-5) on Nov. 7. The Lighting have dropped two straight in Edmonton, but haven’t played there since Dec. 10, 2010.
The Oilers concluded an 0-2-1 trip with a 5-2 loss at Anaheim on Friday. Nail Yakupov and Boyd Gordon had goals for Edmonton, which has been outscored 10-3 in the last two games after dropping the previous two in a shootout and overtime, respectively.
Edmonton led twice in the first period but managed eight of its 18 shots over the second and third.
"We have been hanging around in games, but we always seem to find a way to blow a lead," Gordon said. "We can’t sit around and hang our heads. We have to find a way to get the job done."
Yakupov, the No. 1 overall pick in 2012, has a goal in two straight games after he was a healthy scratch for Tuesday’s 4-3 loss at Phoenix.
Taylor Hall, who assisted on Yakupov’s goal Friday, has two goals in two games versus Tampa Bay.