Senators at Lightning game preview
TIME: 7:30 p.m.
TV: Sun Sports
While the Tampa Bay Lightning have played well on the road, they haven’t won at home in over a month.
The Lightning try to avoid dropping six straight on their own ice for the first time in almost five years when they face the Ottawa Senators on Thursday night.
Mark Barberio scored his first two NHL goals and Ondrej Palat notched a career-high three points as Tampa Bay beat Carolina 5-3 on Sunday, its ninth win in 11 road games. Palat and Teddy Purcell each scored his 10th goal for the Lightning (29-16-5), who now have a league-leading eight players with at least that many.
"It has obviously given us a chance to win more games this year," Purcell told the team’s official website. "When you have eight guys in double digits, you have a lot of guys chipping in and that’s what good teams do."
While most good teams also take care of business at home, the Lightning haven’t done so lately but are third in the Eastern Conference. Tampa Bay opened 14-3-1 on home ice but has since suffered five consecutive one-goal losses there, including two in shootouts.
The Lightning haven’t had a longer home losing streak since an 0-3-3 slide March 3-21, 2009. The last four opponents to play in Tampa are 7 for 12 on the power play after the previous 17 went 6 for 61.
Captain Martin St. Louis has scored 18 of his team-leading 25 goals at home, including a career-high four in Saturday’s 5-4 defeat to San Jose. He’s riding an eight-game point streak during which he has eight goals and four assists.
Ben Bishop gave up all five goals Saturday after allowing no more than two in 11 straight starts at home. He bounced back to make a career-high 48 saves against the Hurricanes.
Bishop ranks among the NHL leaders with a 1.93 goals-against average.
"The one thing about Ben, when he gets pushed against the wall, the fire really comes out of him," coach Jon Cooper said. "He’s one of those guys when the chips are down, he seems to elevate his game. You can’t have enough of those guys."
Bishop, acquired from the Senators on April 3, has surrendered a combined three goals in going 2-0-0 against his former team. He made 33 saves in a 3-1 home victory Dec. 5.
The Senators (22-19-9) opened a five-game road trip with Tuesday’s 2-0 win over Washington. Kyle Turris scored for the fifth time in six games and Craig Anderson made 34 saves to post his third shutout.
Ottawa has killed off 23 of 26 penalties during a 7-1-2 stretch.
"We’ve been winning some games here lately, and believe if we can stick with it things will go our way," said captain Jason Spezza, who also scored Tuesday.
The Senators are 4-0-1 in road games this month and now look to post shutouts in three straight for the first time. Anderson is 7-1-1 with a 2.63 GAA in his last nine starts away from home.
"Lately we’ve been really good on the road," Anderson said. "There’s no really rhyme or reason for it, but we have to figure out why we’re playing so well right now, and continue that to the next game."
Anderson had won five straight starts against the Lightning, yielding four goals, before losing to Bishop in his last one – 3-2 on April 9. His lifetime 1.42 GAA versus Tampa Bay is his lowest against any team.
St. Louis, who scored twice against the Senators last month, has 16 points in his last 16 games in this series.