NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, October 29th
(All times eastern)
Ottawa Senators (6-2-2) at Tampa Bay Lightning (3-3-3), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Ottawa Senators will try for back-to-back wins tonight
when they visit the Tampa Bay Lightning for a clash at St. Pete Times Forum.
Ottawa is in the Sunshine State for a two-game trip and notched a close
victory Wednesday night against the Florida Panthers. Senators captain Daniel
Alfredsson produced a goal and an assist, as Ottawa logged a 4-3 win against
the Panthers at BankAtlantic Center.
Jarkko Ruutu wound up with the eventual game-winning goal, while Mike Fisher
and Nick Foligno also scored for the Senators, who had lost their previous two
Pascal Leclaire, who had been battling an illness, was given the start in net
but lasted only 20 minutes. He allowed one past him on 10 shots and Brian
Elliot went the rest of the way, earning the win with 26 saves. Elliot is 2-0
with a 0.98 goals-against average in two career games against the Lightning
and is expected to get the start tonight.
"Part way through the period during one of the TV timeouts, (Leclaire) came
over and said he was starting to feel dizzy," Ottawa coach Cory Clouston said.
"He felt he would be good until the end of the period. He's a gamer, he tried
to stay in but by the end of the period, it kept getting progressively worse."
Filip Kuba had two assists and paid immediate dividends for a struggling power
play in his return to the ice. It was Kuba's first game since suffering a
lower-body injury in Ottawa's season-opener on October 3.
The Sens came into action Wednesday second-to-last in the NHL (4-for-35) with
the man advantage. They scored on their only chance Wednesday with Kuba
picking up the primary assist.
"I thought we battled hard. It was really hard to get momentum. Each time we
killed (a penalty) we gained the momentum back, but the next thing you know
we're (back) in the box," added Clouston, whose team provided Florida with
seven power-play opportunities.
The Sens are 3-1-0 as the visiting club this year. They'll begin a four-game
homestand with Saturday's test against Atlanta.
Tampa Bay, meanwhile, will be seeking some revenge tonight after the Sens
recorded a 7-1 blowout win over the visiting Lightning on October 15. Ottawa
has taken four straight, five of six and six of the last eight meetings in the
series and has also won seven times in its previous 10 trips to Tampa.
The Lightning have lost three of their last four games and are coming off a
tough shootout loss Saturday against visiting Buffalo. Drew Stafford evened
the game with 16.1 seconds left in regulation and rookie Tyler Myers scored
the game-winner in the shootout, as the Sabres charged back for a 3-2 win at
The first five shooters for each team were unsuccessful in the shootout,
sending it to a sixth round. Tampa's Martin St. Louis skated in backwards and
tried a backhander, but Ryan Miller made the glove save. Myers skated in and
held the puck as he glided to the left side of the slot. Lightning goaltender
Mike Smith bit, and at the last moment Myers shifted the puck around Smith and
pushed it into the open net to give Buffalo the victory.
Smith stopped 30 shots, while Vincent Lecavalier and Steven Stamkos had the
goals for the Lightning.
Stamkos has been a bright spot for the Lightning so far this season. The No. 1
overall pick in the 2008 draft has seven goals and 11 points through nine
games this year. Stamkos had 23 goals and 23 assists in a somewhat
disappointing rookie campaign last year.
The Lightning are 3-0-2 as the host this year and are playing the third
portion of a four-game homestand. The residency ends Saturday afternoon New
10/29 10:53:23 ET