EDMONTON — The Lightning is going to be involved in a lot of games like Tuesday's in which it faced an opponent in a desperate race for the playoffs.
It didn't help that the Lightning was trying to find its collective legs after Monday's long flight.
"It felt like my legs were still in Tampa when the game started," goaltender Karri Ramo said. "We had a long flight (Monday) and had a skate this morning and we knew the Oilers would come hard in the first period."
Tampa Bay put up a fight but fell short, 5-3 at Rexall Place to end its four-game winning streak over the Oilers.
"East teams go out West and West teams go East, that's part of an 82-game schedule," Lightning coach Rick Tocchet said. "You've got to fight through that first period. After that it seemed like a lot of us got our legs going."
Of perhaps greater concern was that Vinny Lecavalier was limping noticeably afterward, unable to put weight on his right heel, after being hit by a Marty St. Louis slap shot in the final minutes. He was examined by Oilers team doctor Dhiren Naidu.
Andrew Cogliani's goal 2:20 into the third period made the score 4-2. Sheldon Souray's goal with 6:45 left in the second snapped a 2-2 tie Tampa Bay forged in that period with goals by Cory Murphy and Steven Stamkos.
Murphy's second goal of the game with 6:14 left in the third cut Tampa Bay's deficit to one.
Souray added an empty-netter in the final seconds.
Mark Recchi's assist on Murphy's first goal gave him 1,420 points, tied with Adam Oates for 15th all time.
The Lightning (20-29-12) for the fifth straight game allowed 40 shots as Edmonton had a 45-29 advantage. Ramo gave up one very bad goal and Souray's goal, a slap shot from the blue line through traffic, ricocheted in off his left arm.
Edmonton scored on its first shot, a breakaway by Erik Cole. The shot to the long side beat Ramo 2:20 into the game.
Edmonton's third shot also found the net. This one was on Ramo as Jason Strudwick's low shot from the high slot skipped through the legs of Lightning defenseman Josef Melichar and past Ramo's left leg at 5:40.
"I kind of made a mistake on that one," Ramo said. "I thought that side was covered and a couple of guys were skating at (Strudwick). I was looking to the right side. I was pretty surprised he shot it there."
The Lightning cut its deficit on Murphy's power-play goal 2:30 into the second and tied it at 2 with 7:37 left when Stamkos, sprung on a breakaway by Ryan Malone's pass, wristed a pea over Dwayne Roloson's glove for his 11th goal.
First Period—1, Edmonton, Cole 15, 2:20. 2, Edmonton, Strudwick 2 (Gagner), 5:40. Penalties—Koci, TB, major (fighting), 2:47; MacIntyre, Edm, major (fighting), 2:47; Melichar, TB (interference), 13:09; Prospal, TB (tripping), 19:45.
Second Period—3, Tampa Bay, Murphy 2 (St. Louis, Recchi), 2:30 (pp). 4, Tampa Bay, Stamkos 11 (Malone), 12:23. 5, Edmonton, Souray 16 (Cogliano), 13:15. Penalties—Nilsson, Edm (goaltender interference), 1:49; Roberts, TB (goaltender interference), 3:25; Gagner, Edm (high-sticking), 7:16; Malik, TB (hooking), 18:53.
Third Period—6, Edmonton, Cogliano 14 (Stortini, Moreau), 2:20. 7, Tampa Bay, Murphy 3 (Lecavalier, St. Louis), 13:46. 8, Edmonton, Souray 17 (Brodziak), 19:58 (en). Penalties—Koci, TB (roughing), 8:09; Souray, Edm (roughing), 8:09; Halpern, TB (hooking), 11:09; Gagner, Edm (high-sticking), 11:39; Melichar, TB (holding), 14:48; Recchi, TB (holding), 18:15; Peckham, Edm (roughing), 18:15. Shots on Goal—Tampa Bay 3-15-11—29. Edmonton 11-14-20—45. Power-play opportunities—Tampa Bay 1 of 3; Edmonton 0 of 6. Goalies—Tampa Bay, Ramo 2-4-1 (44 shots-40 saves). Edmonton, Roloson 21-15-5 (29-26). A—16,839 (16,839). T—2:29. Referees—Dan O'Halloran, Chris Lee. Linesmen—Darren Gibbs, Lyle Seitz.