Senators 4, Lightning 2
The Ottawa Senators keep on saving their best for last.
Daniel Alfredsson scored his sixth goal - the 395th of his NHL career - at 8:58 to tie it at 2. The Senators captain also earned an assist when Foligno gave Ottawa a 3-2 lead, coming out from behind the net to tuck the puck past goalie Dwayne Roloson.
Smith, who scored late in the second to tie it at 1, made it a two-goal lead when he scored his eighth goal at 16:19.
''Once we get behind we start playing really well,'' Alfredsson said. ''I don't know if it's a matter of them giving us a little more respect or us really starting to skate, but it's nice when we know we have that ability. And coming out on top, it wasn't one of our best games but it's nice coming home after a long road trip and winning right away.''
Craig Anderson, who stopped 30 shots, tied a career high with his third assist of the season on Alfredsson's goal.
''I was saying if you're going to have a strong period, it's good to have one in the third,'' Smith said. ''The big part of it is Andy's been keeping us in the games until the third, when unfortunately sometimes it takes us 40 minutes to get going and capitalize on our chances, but good goaltenders help you win games like that.''
Roloson made 27 saves.
''A one-goal lead in the third is never a safe lead. You've got to keep pushing,'' St. Louis said. ''We deserve better. The last four games, if you look at our games, we deserve better but you know what, this business is about winning games, and we're not doing that right now. So does that mean we quit? No, it's adversity. Little by little you climb yourself out of a hole.''
Anderson earned his point when he charged out of his net and fed a long lead pass to Jason Spezza. Spezza carried the puck over the blue line and left a drop pass for Alfredsson, who drove a slap shot past Roloson.
''It was a great pass,'' Spezza said. ''It was a real heads-up play to see that they were making a line change. It gave me time to get some speed through the middle and gave Alfie a little longer to look at the shot.''
Stamkos stripped the puck from defenseman Erik Karlsson to set up St. Louis' goal, which gave Tampa Bay its second one-goal lead 3:35 into the third.
With Pavel Kubina sidelined because of an undisclosed lower body injury, Gervais returned to the lineup for the first time since Tampa Bay's loss at Winnipeg on Nov. 14.
A healthy scratch for the Lightning's previous eight games, Gervais scored in his first game in three weeks when his shot from the left point got past Anderson.
The Senators began a stretch of 11 of 15 games at home that will end when they host Tampa Bay again on Jan. 5.
Stamkos entered the game in a three-way tie with Ottawa's Milan Michalek and Phil Kessel of Toronto for the league lead in goals with 16. He whiffed on a chance at an open left side during a power play late in the first.
Anderson came up with a big glove save on Matt Gilroy moments later.
''I think we could have had eight goals. I should have had four myself,'' Stamkos said. ''I mean, we've got to bear down on our chances. Sometimes they go in, sometimes they don't. This was one of the games where I thought we deserved for them to go in and they didn't.
''So this is where it really tests your hockey team, when you're playing pretty solid hockey and you're not getting the results that you want.''
NOTES: The Lightning are in the midst of a stretch of six of seven games on the road. ... Anderson also had three assists with Colorado in 2009-10. ''He's probably the best guy we've ever had at playing the puck,'' Spezza said. ''You're not surprised when you get a stretch pass like that.'' ... Smith slipped on a red carpet and fell to the ice before the game when he was about to be presented with the Senators' player-of-the-month award for November. ''The guys gave me a hard time for a bit there until the puck dropped,'' Smith said. ''It took me a few minutes to shake it off. It's still kind of rattling me a bit, but it's funny.''