Post-game report: Ottawa 4 Tampa Bay 3
OTTAWA (AP) - Whatever his intentions, Daniel Alfredsson reverted to white stick tape late in the game and he was able to sneak his blade onto the ice in the right place at the worst possible moment for John Grahame and the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Alfredsson scored with 7 seconds left in the third period to give the Ottawa Senators a 4-3 victory over the Lightning on Tuesday night.
After assisting on Dany Heatley's tying goal earlier in the period, the Senators captain got the winner moments before the end of regulation, tipping Jason Spezza's pass beyond Grahame into an open right side from the edge of the crease.
"I wore black all game and just changed to an old one at the end," Alfredsson said. "I'm superstitious more about not being superstitious."
Heatley, who had a goal and two assists, scored his team-leading 38th goal on a 5-on-3 advantage 4:19 into the third to tie it at 3. Spezza had three assists and Chris Neil also scored for Ottawa, which has won eight of nine overall.
"The second half of the game I thought we played really well," Alfredsson said. "We were able to get the puck in deep and we were able to keep them in their end for long periods of time, forget that fact we haven't done a whole lot lately, and we just wore them down, I think."
"It's a tough loss," Lightning right wing Martin St. Louis said.
Tampa Bay coach John Tortorella was asked if the effects of the devastating loss would linger with his players.
"No, we'll rebound," Tortorella said. "They should feel good about how they played. It's our seventh game in 11 nights against a quality team and we've got to just find positives as we go through here and there are plenty of them tonight."
"Time goes by fast for me right now," Emery said. "It's fun to hang out with the guys and know that you're going to get in there."
Grahame started despite Sean Burke's 31-save performance in the Lightning's 2-1 win in Montreal the night before. Grahame made 27 saves.
"I just don't like playing (Burke) back-to-back at this point in the season, so Johnny went in," Tortorella said.
Ottawa came close to taking its first lead when Chris Kelly batted a puck out of the air and into the net at 9:51, but referee Chris Kelly immediately waved off the goal - a call that was supported by a brief video review.
Lecavalier, who also scored Monday night in Montreal, opened the scoring 2:18 in when he backhanded his own rebound past Emery.
Neil got credit for his 14th goal on a power play at 4:42. Heatley's shot struck Neil while he was in front of the net and deflected past Grahame to tie it at 1.
The game was delayed for about 12 minutes early in the second because of a problem with the boards in the right corner in Tampa Bay's end.
"We were talking about making dinner plans and getting a reservation somewhere but it was good that they got it fixed," Spezza said. "With the compressed schedule, the worst thing that could happen is we'd have to re-schedule the game."
The Lightning scored a couple of quick goals shortly after play resumed to take a 3-1 lead.
Lecavalier reached 30 goals for the third straight season with a power-play goal at 4:49, and Afanasenkov scored his sixth 29 seconds later at 5:18 to put Tampa Bay up by two.
With Lightning defenseman Nolan Pratt off for hooking, Ottawa appeared to blow a chance to get back in the game when Alfredsson had an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty added when he dropped his stick and glove to the ice after he was called for holding St. Louis at 19:15.
"It was something I shouldn't have done but it was just that I had such good position on St. Louis and there was no way I clutched him," Alfredsson said. "It was frustrating because we were getting a lot of penalties, it seemed like, and I just lost it."
But rookie defenseman Andrej Meszaros scored 30 seconds later on the ensuing 4-on-4 at 19:45 to draw the Senators to 3-2.
Notes: Lecavalier has nine goals in his last 12 games. ... The crowd of 19,810 was Ottawa's 27th sellout in 31 home games.