Lightning 5, Senators 2

The Tampa Bay Lightning are gearing up for their first

postseason appearance since 2007.

Martin St. Louis and Dominic Moore both scored two goals to lead

the Lightning past the Ottawa Senators 5-2 on Tuesday night.

Steven Stamkos had an empty-net goal, and Simon Gagne added two

assists for the Lightning, who have won two in a row after a

four-game losing skid.

”Little by little we’re building back up,” Moore said.

”Again, it’s no secret, it’s all about work and effort. Earning

victories and deserving wins.”

Tampa Bay would have clinched a playoff berth if Carolina, which

beat Washington 3-2 in shootout, had lost in regulation.

”It’s for another day,” Stamkos said. ”We’re comfortable with

our game right now. Seems like we’ve got our confidence back.

There’s a lot of positives.”

The Lightning play Pittsburgh, a potential first-round playoff

opponent, on Thursday night.

”We know that we’ve got a good chance of playing each other, so

we’ll definitely learn from each other,” Tampa Bay captain Vincent

Lecavalier said. ”It’s pretty close to playoff time. I’m sure it’s

going to be a pretty intense game.”

Ottawa, last in the Eastern Conference, got goals from Jason

Spezza and Milan Michalek. The Senators dropped to 6-4-1 over their

last 11.

”They got a couple of lucky goals,” Spezza said. ”They played

well, but I don’t think it’s a 5-2 game. We deserved better than

that.”

St. Louis put the Lightning up 1-0 on an in-close goal at 3:15

of the second. Just 14 seconds later, Tampa Bay goalie Dwayne

Roloson made a glove save on Ryan Shannon’s shot from the left

circle.

Moore made it 2-0 with 12:35 left in the second. Marc-Andre

Bergeron’s shot went off the end boards and rebounded into the

crease, where Moore poked the puck into the net while goalie Curtis

McElhinney was trying to control it with his glove.

”I still think I had it covered to begin with,” McElhinney

said. ”Sometimes that’s the way it goes.”

St. Louis extended Tampa Bay’s advantage to 3-0 on his 29th goal

of the season 5:48 into the third. St. Louis scored off a pass

through the slot from Gagne.

After Spezza scored with 9:57 left, Tampa Bay responded with

Moore’s second of the game, 1:24 later.

”They just made good on their opportunities,” Ottawa coach

Cory Clouston said. ”Unfortunately we didn’t have any puck

luck.”

Michalek scored a short-handed goal later in the third. Tampa

Bay has given up 16 short-handed goals.

Stamkos, who has just four goals in 22 games, scored his 44th

this season with 33.9 seconds left. Stamkos also ended a five-game

point drought earlier with an assist on St. Louis’ third-period

goal.

Notes: Lightning LW Ryan Malone is expected to return Thursday

after missing 21 games with a mid-body injury. … McElhinney,

claimed by Ottawa off waivers from the Lightning on Feb. 28, had

beaten Tampa Bay twice earlier this month. He never played with the

Lightning after being obtained in a trade with Anaheim on Feb. 24.

… Bergeron stopped his 11-game point drought. … Lecavalier had

an assist to extend his point streak to five games (five assists,

seven points).