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Tampa Bay Lightning loses to Edmonton Oilers 3-2

TAMPA — Lightning coach Rick Tocchet said Wednesday night that he did not know the full extent of injuries to star forwards Steven Stamkos and Ryan Malone.

He had no predictions, either, on their availability for a six-game road trip that begins Friday in Denver or whether either needed or will have X-rays or MRI tests.

All Tocchet indicated after a 3-2 loss to the Oilers at the St. Pete Times Forum was that his top two scorers will be re-evaluated today. "We're still talking to the doctors," he said. "We have no idea."

Malone was lost in the first period with a lower-body injury, Stamkos in the second with an upper-body injury. With 16 and 17 goals, respectively, they have 44 percent of the team's offense.

And though Tocchet hopes for the best, he sure sounded as if he was preparing for the worst.

"Teams go through injuries," he said. "It's our turn. We have to suck it up. The guys who haven't played much and have been asking to play more, here's your chance. It's put up or shut up time for those guys. You want ice time? You're going to get it. Let's see what you've got."

The Lightning (11-11-8) showed some juice against Edmonton, a good thing after Monday's loss to the Capitals during which the top two lines were benched for the final seven minutes of the game.

Tampa Bay had a 34-32 shot advantage, including 15-8 in the third period. Marty St. Louis scored his sixth goal (his first in 10 games) and had two points, and rookie defenseman Victor Hedman scored his second goal.

Tocchet also praised the team leaders, specifically St. Louis, who had a game-high seven shots, and Vinny Lecavalier, who had four shots and an assist.

"I thought Vinny was excellent, and Marty, they played their hearts out, and the other guys followed," Tocchet said. "With two guys down, you have to give the guys credit."

But Zack Stortini's goal past Mike Smith with 8:53 left in the second period broke a 2-2 tie and gave the Oilers their fourth straight road win.

The Lightning, loser of six of seven, is at .500 for the first time since Nov. 2.

Stortini, the tough guy whose third goal was his first in 26 games, had a busy night. He had two points and two fights, both with Zenon Konopka.

What comes next for Tampa Bay?

"It's a big challenge. I'm not going to beat around that," left wing Todd Fedoruk said of perhaps losing Malone and Stamkos. "But good teams find ways to win."

"The rest of us have to step up," left wing Alex Tanguay said. "There's still lots of skill and plenty of guys to get the job done. We're very capable."

Oilers 1 2 0 3
Lightning 1 1 0 2
Oilers 1 2 0 3
Lightning 1 1 0 2

First Period1, Tampa Bay, St. Louis 6 (Lecavalier, Malone), 1:08. 2, Edmonton, Gilbert 2 (Nilsson, Stortini), 11:21. PenaltiesMeszaros, TB (hooking), 4:59; Gagner, Edm (holding), 5:36; Stortini, Edm, major (fighting), 17:38; Konopka, TB, major (fighting), 17:38.

Second Period3, Edmonton, Penner 17 (Gagner, Brule), 6:31. 4, Tampa Bay, Hedman 2 (St. Louis), 7:34. 5, Edmonton, Stortini 3 (Stone), 11:07. PenaltiesStone, Edm, major (fighting), 3:15; Downie, TB, served by Fedoruk, minor-major (tripping, fighting), 3:15; Stone, Edm (roughing), 14:53; Stortini, Edm, major (fighting), 14:53; Konopka, TB, major (fighting), 14:53; Downie, TB (roughing), 14:53; Hedman, TB (hooking), 14:53; Brule, Edm (goaltender interference), 15:28.

Third PeriodNone. PenaltiesStortini, Edm (roughing), 3:28; Moreau, Edm (slashing), 5:24; Konopka, TB (holding stick), 13:54. Shots on GoalEdmonton 11-13-8—32. Tampa Bay 10-9-15—34. Power-play opportunitiesEdmonton 0 of 4; Tampa Bay 0 of 4. GoaliesEdmonton, Deslauriers 7-4-2 (34 shots-32 saves). Tampa Bay, Smith 5-7-5 (32-29). A13,477 (19,758).

Tampa Bay Lightning loses to Edmonton Oilers 3-2 12/09/09 [Last modified: Thursday, December 10, 2009 7:55am]
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