EDMONTON, Alberta — The Tampa Bay Lightning had their five-game road winning streak end Sunday, but it might not be the most notable loss of the night.
Edmonton scored twice in the third period to break a tie en route to a 5-3 victory in front of an announced crowd of 16,839 at Rexall Place, ending Tampa Bay's longest road winning streak in more than five years.
Victor Hedman, Nikita Kucherov and Valtteri Filppula scored for the Lightning, while Edmonton got two goals from Jordan Eberle as well as goals from Boyd Gordon, Luke Gadzic and Taylor Hall. Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 24 shots for the win.
But of greater concern for the Lightning is the health of top goaltender Ben Bishop, who left the game less than five minutes in with an apparent injury to his right hand or arm. The Lightning will hold their collective breath awaiting word as to the seriousness of Bishop's injury.
With Tampa Bay ahead 1-0 on a power-play goal from Kucherov, replays appeared to show Bishop injuring himself as Eberle came cutting across the top of the crease and possibly twisting Bishop's right arm. Moments later, Eberle scored his first of the night to tie it at 4:18.
During the stoppage of play, Bishop skated over to the Lightning bench to talk to head medical trainer Tom Mulligan while trying to take off the blocker glove on his right hand.
After a short conversation and unable to remove the glove, Bishop skated off the ice and to the Lightning locker room after facing just the one shot on goal. He was replaced by Lindback, who allowed four goals on 25 shots to take the loss.
Edmonton television reported that Bishop went for X-rays, but Tampa Bay general manager Steve Yzerman said he was unaware if X-rays were required. Officially, the team said Bishop suffered an upper-body injury and will be re-evaluated today, though no further testing is expected to be required.
“We don't know (the extent of the injury) and it's hard to speculate but I don't think it's going to be major, serious ... I hope not, anyway,'' Lightning coach Jon Cooper said.
“But if it is, (Lindback) is a proven goaltender in the league and he'll be fine. We can't sit here and say that, 'Ben Bishop is out and here we go again (with injuries).' We'll just make that determination when we find out what the injury is. It's way too early to speculate.''
With Bishop, a leading candidate for the Vezina Trophy at the midway point of the season, heading off the ice, the Lightning stumbled through much of the remaining first period as the Oilers grabbed a 3-1 lead.
“The first period wasn't good, and you don't want to see a guy go down like that, especially with how well he has been playing,'' Hedman said. “But even before that (first) goal, I think we were flat.”
Lindback made no excuses after coming in cold: “It's my job. I have to be ready and unfortunately it didn't go my way.''
After being outshot 12-4 in the first period, the Lightning regrouped in the second and started to be more aggressive and forced turnovers.
Tyler Johnson did just that, picking the puck off a stick at his own blue line and feeding Ondrej Palat up the left wing. Palat found Hedman for a snap shot for his eighth goal at 8:47 to make it 3-2.
Filppula pulled the Lightning even at 14:25 of the second, wiring a wrist shot from the right circle past Bryzgalov.
But the Oilers regained the lead for good when Gordon picked up his own rebound and put it past Lindback, who was scrambling back to his feet, at 8:20 of the third. The Oilers made it 5-3 during four-on-four play when Hall was alone at the right post to redirect an Andrew Ference shot at 10:30.
“We get it back to the tie and we couldn't get the next one, and we had ample chances,'' Cooper said.