Lightning at Senators game preview
TIME: Thursday at 7:30 p.m.
TV: Sun Sports
While the Tampa Bay Lightning got the best of the Senators last week, a repeat performance could be hard to come by in Ottawa.
The Lightning try to pick up a rare road win over the Senators as these Atlantic Division foes meet again Thursday night.
Tampa Bay (31-17-5) has taken both matchups against Ottawa (23-20-10) this season, winning 3-1 on Dec. 5 and 4-3 in a shootout last Thursday. Victor Hedman matched a career high with three assists while Ben Bishop made 33 saves to stay unbeaten against his former club.
The Lightning have won three straight in the series, but those games were all in Tampa. They’ve lost their last four visits to Ottawa, allowing 16 goals, and compiled a 4-20-4 regular-season record there dating to January 1998.
Tampa Bay had won three in a row before opening a four-game road trip with Tuesday’s 3-2 loss to Toronto. Defenseman Mark Barberio scored for the fourth time in as many games to help the Lightning erase a two-goal deficit, but Bishop allowed the go-ahead goal with 4:03 remaining after Radko Gudas’ turnover in the defensive zone.
Matthew Carle also scored for Tampa Bay, which outshot the Maple Leafs 42-26.
”I thought we deserved better,” said captain Martin St. Louis, who had a 10-game point streak snapped. ”But we’ve been on the other side of the coin, too, where you don’t deserve a win but somehow you can get one. Tonight was one of those game that probably evened things out a little bit.”
The Senators return home after concluding a 2-1-1 trek with Tuesday’s 3-2 win in Columbus, where captain Jason Spezza scored the go-ahead goal with 4:58 to play.
Fourth-year center Stephane Da Costa notched his first two goals of the season, about a week after being recalled from the AHL.
”It’s real good to see him score,” coach Paul MacLean said. ”He was a good player for us tonight. Since he’s come up, he’s been good.”
Craig Anderson made 34 saves to finish 2-0-1 with a 1.46 goals-against average on the road trip. The Senators had five goals with the man advantage in those four games, raising their NHL-leading road power-play percentage to 28.6, after going 2 for 4 on Tuesday.
”Special teams and goaltending were huge again,” MacLean said. ”They were the difference in the game. It was a huge game.”
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