EDMONTON — Dan Ellis' decision was the right one, but let's just say the execution never will be part of a how-to guide for goaltenders.
Way out of his crease to clear a loose puck with the Oilers closing in, Ellis passed right to Edmonton's Taylor Hall, June's No. 1 overall draft pick, who deked around D Mike Vernace and scored into an open net. It was one of several low points in the Lightning's 5-2 preseason loss Thursday night at Rexall Place.
That the Oilers played their A team and Tampa Bay (2-1-0) sat most of its stars was no excuse, said Ellis, who made 16 saves on 21 shots. "The most important thing is you work hard every night, that you don't beat yourself," he said. "For the most part, our guys did pretty well against their top lineup. We outshot them (28-21); we played them hard. We just needed a couple saves from our goaltender."
It wasn't all on Ellis. The power play was 1-for-10, and Tampa Bay allowed three power-play goals. D Randy Jones scored, and C Carter Ashton got his second goal in as many games. There were good breakouts, and there was good support for the rush, but there was mostly an inability to finish. Edmonton rookie Magnus Paajarvi scored a hat trick.
"Some guys didn't look so good because the pace was higher," coach Guy Boucher said. "They moved the puck quick on the other side, and you can see which guys adapted and which guys didn't. We got some good information."
PAYBACK: There's no official word from the NHL, but Blackhawks F Nick Boynton apparently will be suspended for one regular-season game for the throat-cutting gesture he made Wednesday to C Blair Jones after the two fought, several media outlets reported.
CUTTING ROOM: The team should be close to finalized by Tuesday's practice, Boucher said, and he added there's still time for players with "the biggest package deal" to make an impression.
"One thing I'm looking for are guys who can kill penalties, guys who are willing to pay the price to block shots, guys who are quick enough to get into shooting lanes," Boucher said. "We're looking for guys who can grind it out, and on top of that, if they have hand-eye coordination skills, then the package is better."
It is believed two bottom-six wing positions are still in play and perhaps the seventh defenseman spot.
A BLIP: RW Steve Downie said he had not given his benching in Tuesday's preseason opener against the Stars any thought until someone asked him about it Thursday. "It's not an end-of-the-world thing," he said. "I left it at the rink." Boucher benched Downie in the second period after he gratuitously slashed a player behind the play. Downie said it is not something he would do during the regular season: "You're not going to take those penalties during a game. You can't. I know that." Downie had four penalty minutes against the Oilers.
ODDS AND ENDS: D Matt Smaby, who left Tuesday's game after a fight with C Brian Sutherby, apparently has a concussion.
First Period—1, Tampa Bay, Ra.Jones 1 (Purcell, Persson), 4:33. 2, Edmonton, Paajarvi 1 (Belle, Plante), 15:09. 3, Edmonton, Cogliano 1 (Foster, Paajarvi), 18:34 (pp). Penalties—Pouliot, TB (roughing), :16; Foster, Edm (interference), :16; Smid, Edm (roughing), :16; Mihalik, TB (hooking), 7:30; Brule, Edm (high-sticking), 10:20; MacIntyre, Edm (roughing), 13:31; Ohlund, TB (holding), 14:40; Ashton, TB (slashing), 17:21; Reddox, Edm (hooking), 19:06.
Second Period—4, Edmonton, Paajarvi 2 (Penner, Plante), 6:50 (pp). Penalties—A.Hall, TB (holding), 5:24; Smid, Edm (boarding), 7:00; Downie, TB (hooking), 11:10; Omark, Edm (hooking), 14:54; Foster, Edm (cross-checking), 17:47.
Third Period—5, Edmonton, T.Hall 1, 7:57 (pp). 6, Edmonton, Paajarvi 3 (Foster), 9:52 (sh). 7, Tampa Bay, Ashton 2 (Wright, Clark), 17:20 (pp). Penalties—Downie, TB (roughing), :26; Smid, Edm (roughing), :26; Tampa Bay bench, served by Purcell (too many men), 6:57; Petiot, Edm (holding), 8:07; Wright, TB (tripping), 11:59; MacIntyre, Edm (roughing, charging), 15:48. Shots on Goal—Tampa Bay 14-8-6—28. Edmonton 11-4-6—21. Power-play opportunities—Tampa Bay 1 of 10; Edmonton 3 of 7. Goalies—Tampa Bay, Ellis 1-1-0 (21 shots-16 saves). Edmonton, Dubnyk 2-0-0 (20-19), Deslauriers (9:29 second, 8-7). A—16,839 (16,839).