Senators race to early lead, hang on against Lightning

Erin Nicks  - NHL.com Correspondent | Saturday, 03.23.2013 / 7:59 PM

OTTAWA – Tampa Bay gave the Ottawa Senators a bit of the scare in the third period, but the Senators came away with the win, beating the Lightning 5-3 on Saturday afternoon at Scotiabank Place.

In the first period, Ottawa (17-9-6) scored four goals in just more than seven minutes and carried that lead until the last half of the third, when the Lightning's (13-17-1) Tyler Johnson netted two goals, followed up by a third goal from Teddy Purcell.

Daniel Alfredsson had two goals, including the empty netter with 10 seconds left. Jakob Silfverberg had a goal and an assist, while Eric Gryba, Guillaume Latendresse also scored the goals for Ottawa.

"Yeah, it was a little bit closer than we would have liked," Alfredsson said. "But it's probably what we would have expected before the game started. All in all, it's getting the two points for us and that first period is really what set it up for our team."

Marc Methot, who also had two points, admitted the Seantors let their guard down.

"That was really frustrating," Methot said. "We worked so hard, especially in that first period to get a nice lead, and I think that was the problem. It got a little too comfortable and it showed. We handled it well in the second, but it's a natural feeling as the game is winding down, you get a little relaxed and that was an issue. But we got the win and that's what matters."

Robin Lehner made 29 saves for the win, while Cedrick Desjardins turned away 19 shots after relieving Mathieu Garon in the first.

Ottawa came out with a flurry of offense in the first period, scoring three goals in 4:12. Silfverberg was first on the board on the Sens, when Victor Hedman's pass up the half-wall was picked off by Marc Methot. The defenseman then wristed a shot from the top of the left faceoff corner, and the puck was redirected into the Lightning net by Silfverberg at 12:49.

Kyle Turris sent a drop pass 1:40 later to Gryba, who one-timed a shot from the high slot through the five-hole of Garon to make it a two-goal lead. It was Gryba's first NHL career goal. Methot picked up another assist for his second of the game.

The Senators made the score 3-0 at 17:01. Latendresse's initial wrist shot was saved by Garon's left pad. The puck popped out to the right of the net as the Latendresse skated past and began to fall forward. He gained just enough control to shoot towards the net and the puck banked in off the inside of the left post.

After allowing three goals in 11 shots, Garon was replaced by Desjardins in the Lightning net.

But Ottawa still wasn't finished and made the score 4-0 with 9.1 seconds left in the period, on a power-play goal from Alfredsson. The captain's initial shot in the slot was blocked by Sami Salo, but he regained control and beat Desjardins through traffic for his seventh goal of the season. Sergei Gonchar also picked up an assist, and set a new franchise record with assists scored in 10 consecutive games. Alfredsson and Jason Spezza previously held the record with nine, set in the fall of 2007.

Tampa Bay's best chance in the second period came with eight minutes left in the period. Ottawa was on a power play after a fight between Marc Methot and B.J. Crombeen left the Tampa forward with an instigator penalty and a 10-minute misconduct.

Methot's clean hip check on Crombeen led to the melee. The Ottawa defenseman insisted he wasn't fazed.

"It's not frustrating," Methot said. "At worst case scenario, I'm strong enough that I can just hold a guy out, and that's what I did. I'm not going to trade punches with a player. I respect [Crombeen]; I played against him in the Ontario Hockey League. Originally, I didn't think he was going to come at me, but he started yelling a couple of things, so I prepared myself. I'm not a fighter; that's no secret. But it felt good to get involved like that on my first game back [from a knee injury]."

Mike Lundin gave away the puck in the Lightning zone and Dana Tyrell recovered it. He made an attempt to deke but Lehner tracked the puck and made the pad save.

Tampa Bay scored three times in less than seven minutes in the second half of the final period, but Alfredsson's eighth of the season ended any doubt.

"That's the way sports are," Alfredsson said. "When one team gets momentum, it's not as easy to stop as you think. We did a good job, though. Once [Tampa Bay] got that third goal, we managed the puck and got the empty netter."

Steven Stamkos, who had only one shot on goal and finished the game a minus-3, was disappointed despite the failed comeback.

"There wasn't enough urgency," Stamkos said. "You saw after we were down a couple of goals, we started hitting and stuff. That falls on me, too. We can't wait until we're down to start showing emotion. I have to be better at that; everyone has to be better at that. We have to start right from the puck drop. You can't expect to win in this League when you give a team a four-goal lead on the road."

Scoring Summary
1st Period
12:49OTT Jakob Silfverberg (8) ASST: Marc Methot (4) 1 - 0 OTT
14:29OTT Eric Gryba (1) ASST: Kyle Turris (12), Marc Methot (5) 2 - 0 OTT
17:01OTT Guillaume Latendresse (4) ASST: Jakob Silfverberg (5), Mika Zibanejad (6) 3 - 0 OTT
19:50OTT PPG - Daniel Alfredsson (7) ASST: Patrick Wiercioch (11), Sergei Gonchar (20) 4 - 0 OTT
2nd Period
3rd Period
11:37TBL Tyler Johnson (2) ASST: Eric Brewer (5), Richard Panik (1) 4 - 1 OTT
13:53TBL Tyler Johnson (3) ASST: Matt Carle (8) 4 - 2 OTT
18:01TBL Teddy Purcell (7) ASST: Victor Hedman (11), Sami Salo (11) 4 - 3 OTT
19:39OTT EN - Daniel Alfredsson (8) ASST: Kyle Turris (13), Colin Greening (8) 5 - 3 OTT
Three Stars of the Game
Daniel Alfredsson
Daniel Alfredsson
G: 2Shots: 5
A: 0Hits: 0
PTS: 2PIM: 0
+/-: 1TOI: 20:14
Marc Methot
Marc Methot
G: 0Shots: 2
A: 2Hits: 6
PTS: 2PIM: 5
+/-: 3TOI: 21:33
Tyler Johnson
Tyler Johnson
G: 2Shots: 3
A: 0Hits: 2
PTS: 2PIM: 0
+/-: 1TOI: 16:10
Penalty Summary
1st Period
14:40OTT Matt Kassian  Fighting (maj) against  B.J. Crombeen
14:40TBL B.J. Crombeen  Fighting (maj) against  Matt Kassian
17:31OTT Eric Gryba  Interference against  Dana Tyrell
18:40TBL Alex Killorn  Hooking against  Daniel Alfredsson
20:00OTT Chris Neil  Misconduct (10 min)
20:00TBL Richard Panik  Boarding against  Patrick Wiercioch
20:00OTT Chris Neil  Roughing against  Richard Panik
20:00OTT Chris Neil  Roughing against  Richard Panik
2nd Period
09:54TBL B.J. Crombeen  Instigator against  Marc Methot
09:54TBL B.J. Crombeen  Fighting (maj) against  Marc Methot
09:54TBL B.J. Crombeen  Misconduct (10 min) against  Marc Methot
09:54OTT Marc Methot  Fighting (maj) against  B.J. Crombeen
17:59OTT Peter Regin  Hooking against  Radko Gudas
3rd Period
04:25OTT Patrick Wiercioch  Tripping against  Cory Conacher
shots by period
Team Stats
Power Plays0/41/2
Faceoff Wins2722
Blocked Shots1318
Penalty Minutes2630
2E. BrewerD0110017:41
3K. AulieD0000013:21
6S. SaloD01-22019:00
11T. PyattC0015016:01
16T. PurcellL10-12014:12
17A. KillornC0005218:37
19B. CrombeenR0001225:03
25M. CarleD0122023:34
26M. St. LouisR00-31024:20
42D. TyrellC0011010:51
44N. ThompsonC00-11012:34
63T. JohnsonC2013016:10
71R. PanikL0121212:45
74O. PalatL0012012:21
75R. GudasD0002018:54
77V. HedmanD01-21021:42
89C. ConacherC00-32016:34
91S. StamkosC00-31023:48
30C. Desjardins1920.95042:21
32M. Garon811.72717:01
3M. MethotD0232521:33
4C. PhillipsD00-11019:32
7K. TurrisC0221020:31
10M. LundinD0001018:35
11D. AlfredssonR2015020:14
13P. ReginC0000211:09
14C. GreeningC0123018:36
15Z. SmithC00-22014:51
22E. CondraR0011014:28
25C. NeilR00021411:46
28M. KassianL000057:09
33J. SilfverbergR11-13014:13
46P. WierciochD01-10217:18
55S. GoncharD01-21021:29
59D. DziurzynskiL0002014:18
62E. GrybaD1032221:43
73G. LatendresseL10-13013:03
93M. ZibanejadC0113011:32
40R. Lehner2932.90660:00