Senators 5, Lightning 3

The Ottawa Senators figured they were in for an easy day after

they built a four-goal lead in the first period over the Tampa Bay

Lightning.

The Senators managed to hang on for a 5-3 win on Saturday, but

it wasn’t as smooth as they expected.

Jakob Silfverberg, Eric Gryba, Guillaume Latendresse and Daniel

Alfredsson scored in a 7:01 span in the first period. However, the

Senators didn’t secure this victory until Alfredsson scored into an

empty net in the final minute.

Robin Lehner made 29 saves, and Marc Methot, who missed the

previous game because of a knee injury, and Kyle Turris each had

two assists.

Some lackadaisical play by the Senators gave Tampa Bay hope, and

the Lightning took full advantage. They stormed back late before

coming up just short.

”Any time you’re up 4-0 after the first period the test becomes

to see if you can continue to play,” Senators coach Paul Maclean

said. ”I was pleased with how we came out and started the game but

as the game wore on it became harder and harder for us to stay

playing.

”That’s focus and that’s intensity. We did enough to stop the

momentum from (the Lightning) coming all the way back.”

Tyler Johnson scored twice in the third period for Tampa Bay,

and Teddy Purcell made it 4-3 with 1:59 left.

The Lightning just couldn’t finish the comeback.

”There was something different, and we’re going to look at it

(Sunday), but we didn’t play as well as we should,” Senators

defenseman Sergei Gonchar said of the third period. ”But the most

important thing this time of the year is that we’re getting points

as a team.”

Mathieu Garon was yanked from the Tampa Bay net in the first

period after allowing three goals on the first 11 shots. Cedrick

Desjardins was strong in relief, making 19 saves.

”The rest of the game we played good. We outplayed the other

team, outchanced them,” Boucher said. ”We did a lot of good

things out there, but the mental mistakes cost us. We played 50

great minutes, and that’s how we have to play. We can’t allow those

mental mistakes to happen.”

The Senators’ first-period spree started at 12:49 when

Silfverberg tipped home Methot’s pass after a giveaway by Tampa Bay

defenseman Victor Hedman. Gryba made it 2-0 only 1:40 later,

scoring his first NHL goal off a feed from Turris.

”It feels good and it feels even better to get a big two

points,” said Gryba, who played in his 18th NHL game. ”You play

with skill guys like (Turris), they see the ice so well and are

able to put the puck where they want it. It was a great pass, and I

was fortunate to get it past the goalie.”

Latendresse scored with 2:59 left in the period to chase Garon,

and Alfredsson made it 4-0 with 10 seconds left with a goal on a

power play.

Lehner, who was aided by two shots off the post that stayed out,

stopped Dana Tyrell on a second-period breakaway as Ottawa started

to sit back and allow the Lightning time and space.

Johnson tipped a shot past Lehner at 11:37 of the third and

added his second at 13:53.

Purcell’s goal that made it 4-3 raised the tension at Scotiabank

Place, but with Desjardins on the bench for an extra skater,

Alfredsson scored into the empty net.

Notes: Brian Lee, Marc-Andre Bergeron and Pierre-Cedric Labrie

were scratched for the Lightning. Jim O’Brien, Kaspars Daugavins

and Andre Benoit sat out for the Senators. … With his

first-period assist, D Sergei Gonchar set a Senators record with

assists in 10 straight games. It is also the longest streak in the

NHL this season. … Tampa Bay’s B.J. Crombeen added to his league

lead in major penalties with two fights. He has 12 major

penalties.