The new-look Lightning pulled a same ol', same ol'.
With trade deadline-day acquisitions Jeff Norton from Edmonton and Jamie Huscroft from Calgary in the lineup, Tampa Bay fell 3-1 Wednesday night to the Oilers.
Kelly Buchberger's early third-period goal gave the Oilers a one-goal lead that the Lightning could not overcome.
Buchberger scored off a drop pass from Todd Marchant, beating apparently screened Tampa Bay goalie Rick Tabaracci to the glove side less than four minutes into the final period.
Martin Czerkawski added a goal with just more than six minutes to go, beating Tabaracci with an odd-angle wrister.
It was the third straight loss and sixth in seven games for the Lightning.
"Once again, it was a case, from the forwards to the defense, of everyone making just a little mistake here and another mistake there," Lightning center Chris Gratton said.
And it couldn't have come at a worse time, considering that Montreal and Washington _ two of the five teams battling Tampa Bay for the last two Eastern Conference playoff spots _ gained ground.
The Canadiens got two points for a 5-4 victory over the Rangers and the Capitals one for their 2-2 tie with New Jersey, leaving the Lightning three points behind Washington and Hartford for the eighth and final position.
Edmonton played without its take in the Norton deal, defenseman Drew Bannister. His shoulder, hurt Saturday during Tampa Bay's loss to Vancouver, was examined by Oilers doctors, who diagnosed a "burner," an injury in which the damaged nerves cause numbing down an arm.