NHL Game Summary - Ottawa at Tampa Bay
(Tuesday, December 4th)
Final Score: Tampa Bay 4, Ottawa 3 (SO)
Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - Vaclav Prospal was credited with the game-winning goal in the shootout, as the Tampa Bay Lightning escaped a late rally by Ottawa and defeated the slumping Senators, 4-3, at St. Pete Times Forum.
Mathieu Darche, Chris Gratton and Filip Kuba scored in regulation for Tampa Bay, which has won two straight following a six-game winless streak (0-5-1). Marty St. Louis posted two assists and Johan Holmqvist made 26 saves in the victory. The Lightning will host Southeast Division rival and current leader Carolina on Thursday.
"Coming home and winning our first two in this homestand after a couple dismal games on the road is a good start for us to get back to the water line," said Tampa Bay head coach John Tortorella.
Daniel Alfredsson scored twice for the Senators, who are now winless in their last seven games (0-5-2). Wade Redden's fourth goal of the season tied the game with 1:21 remaining in the third period but Ottawa once again failed to find the win column. Ray Emery allowed three goals on 28 shots for the Sens, who started the season with a sizzling 16-3-0 record but embarked on this five-game road trip searching for their first win since November 19.
"We fought and got ourselves back into the game," said Alfredsson. "We would have loved to have won it, but we're happy with getting a point."
Ottawa tied the game with two goals inside the final two minutes of the third period, and the contest went to a shootout following a scoreless overtime. After the first three rounds were completed, the teams were still knotted after goals by Brad Richards and Jason Spezza. However, Prospal then beat Emery with a low wrister and Holmqvist's save on Dany Heatley ended it.
Trailing 3-1 with less than two minutes remaining in regulation, the Senators scored twice in a 36-second span to knot the contest.
First, at the 18:03 mark, Alfredsson's second goal of the game and 19th of the season brought the Sens within one. After a flurry of scoring chances, Ottawa kept the pressure on in its offensive zone and Heatley held control along the rear boards. He passed to the top of the right circle for Alfredsson, who was all alone and lit the lamp with a wrist shot.
"We forechecked pretty good, tried to create chances and it's nice to get rewarded," said Alfredsson.
Moments later, a questionable goal tied the score. A centering pass from the left half-wall was intended for Alfredsson, who darted through the low slot and tried to redirect it but missed. Redden was in the right place at the right time, and the momentum of his left skate at the top of the crease directed the puck over the goal line. The play was reviewed in the building, but was not sent to Toronto for a league review.
"We let them take the game over and gave up the lead, but we got the two points and that's what matters in the end," said Darche.
Ottawa will continue its road trip on Wednesday versus the Panthers.
A costly turnover deep in the Ottawa defensive zone led to Tampa Bay's first goal less than four minutes into the game. The veteran Redden corralled a reverse pass along the rear boards and committed the cardinal sin in hockey, a pass attempt across the slot. Jan Hlavac intercepted the puck along the inner rim of the right circle and passed it to Darche for an easy redirection goal near the left post at 3:43.
Later in the first period, Gratton's fourth goal, the result of a swift tic- tac-toe passing play, gave the hosts a 2-0 lead. Vinny Lecavalier held control at the top of the right circle and sent a quick pass down to St. Louis along the goal line to the right of the net. St. Louis then one-timed a pass into the goal mouth for Gratton, who redirected the disc past Emery with 8:26 remaining in the period.
Alfredsson's power-play goal just over seven minutes into the third period cut the Ottawa deficit in half, but the Lightning struck 2:03 later and restored their two-goal edge. St. Louis streaked down the right-wing side and passed from inside the circle to the slot for a successful one-timer by Kuba. Lecavalier provided a screen in front.
The marked the first time the Senators have dropped seven straight since a stretch from February 22 to March 9, 1996...Tampa Bay improved to 10-3-1 at home this season...Despite the setback, the Sens have still won five of their last seven games at Tampa...Ottawa finished 1-for-5 on the power play, while Tampa Bay went scoreless on five chances with the extra skater...Darche has scored three goals in his last three games...Attendance was 17,540.
12/05 00:20:30 ET