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NHL Game Summary - Tampa Bay at Ottawa

(Saturday, December 2nd)

Final Score: Ottawa 5, Tampa Bay 2

Ottawa, ON (Sports Network) - Antoine Vermette scored two goals, leading the Ottawa Senators past the Tampa Bay Lightning, 5-2, at Scotiabank Place.

Patrick Eaves, Joe Corvo and Jason Spezza also tallied for the Senators, who have won three in a row and seven of eight, despite playing without top defenseman Wade Redden, who suffered a shoulder injury on Thursday during Ottawa's 6-0 victory over visiting Florida. Redden is out indefinitely.

Ray Emery improved to 10-4-0 on the season, stopping 34-of-36 shots.

Tampa Bay's problems actually started well before the game, as they traveled without starting goaltender Marc Denis, who had trouble acquiring a work visa because he has not spent ten consecutive years in the United States. The organization feared they would have trouble getting Denis back in the country, so he stayed behind when the team crossed the Canadian border.

Eric Perrin and Vincent Lecavalier tallied for the Lightning, who lost their third straight game. Johan Holmqvist was also dreadful in goal, allowing three scores on just seven shots before being replaced in the first period. Karri Ramo came on and made 16 saves in his first NHL appearance.

Ottawa jumped out to a 4-0 advantage in the opening session, despite the fact they outshot Tampa Bay only 11-7.

The Sens opened the scoring on a short-handed goal just 2:47 after the opening faceoff. With Peter Schaefer off for interference, Eaves nabbed the puck off a Lightning turnover in the neutral zone and skated in alone before switching to the backhand. He finished the play by beating Holmqvist through the five hole.

Ottawa lit the lamp again a little more than four minutes later, taking advantage of a power play opportunity. Off a pass from Andrej Meszaros, Corvo rifled a shot from the point that beat a screened Holmqvist at 6:49, as the puck slipped under the netminder's glove.

Vermette followed with a tally at 8:06, taking a pass from Daniel Alfredsson and dropping the puck between his skates while skating backwards off the side of the goal. The disc wrapped inside the left post and trickled past Holmqvist, spelling the end of his night.

Spezza finished off the first-period scoring frenzy, beating Ramo on a snapshot out in front with 3:39 remaining for his 12th of the year.

Tampa answered with two goals just over two minutes apart in the second period, cutting their deficit in half.

Perrin notched the first Lightning score of the game at 8:35. Doug Janik started the play just inside the blue line, throwing the puck in behind the net, where it was collected by Martin St. Louis. St. Louis fought for control, then passed into the left corner for Brad Richards, who sent the puck through the crease and off the stick of Perrin to make it 4-1.

Lecavalier then knocked a one-timer from Vaclav Prospal past Emery to make it 4-2 at 10:32.

Vermette gave Ottawa a three-goal cushion with 6:24 left in the contest, beating Ramo through the five-hole on a breakaway.

Tampa finished 0-for-5 on the power play.

Game Notes

With a streak that started November 28 in Carolina, Ottawa scored 14 straight unanswered goals, ending with Tampa's second period tally. The mark set a new franchise record..Spezza has three goals and four assists in his last five games...Corvo left the game with 13:08 left in the second third. He got hit with the puck while he was sitting on the bench and sustained a facial laceration...Ramo, Tampa's sixth round pick in the 2004 NHL entry draft, was 8-3-0 in Springfield (AHL) before his call-up...The Senators are 9-0-0 against the Lightning in the past two seasons, and improved to 18-2-1 against them in their past 21 matches...Perrin has seven goals and four assists in his last 16 games.

12/02 22:11:51 ET

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