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game preview

Ottawa Senators vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

Friday, 10.21.2005 / 7:30 PM

Associated Press

Senators-Lightning Preview

GAME: Ottawa Senators (5-0-0) at Tampa Bay Lightning (4-2-2).

TIME: Friday, 7:30 p.m. EDT.

The Ottawa Senators say they aren't satisfied with being the Eastern Conference's last undefeated team. They'll look to extend their season-opening winning streak to six games when they face the defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Senators are coming off Saturday's 5-1 win over Boston, but Ottawa coach Bryan Murray said his team has plenty of room for improvement.

"The hardest part when you're winning is to keep on winning," Murray said. "When you're winning you have to remember you have to keep working hard. You can get comfortable and it's way too early to think you're that good."

Murray has been impressed with the way his players have handled adversity, posting two shootout victories and rallying from multiple-goal deficits on three separate occasions.

"The big thing is we found a way to win," Murray said. "We have showed a lot of character. (The record) probably says a lot about the fact that we're a pretty good hockey club."

The Lightning are coming off an impressive 6-0 win at Atlanta on Thursday. Fredrik Modin scored two goals and John Grahame posted his first shutout of the season.

A backup during his previous six seasons, Grahame is thriving in his new role as a No. 1 goaltender, which he inherited thanks to Nikolai Khabibulin's defection to Chicago during the offseason.

"It's actually nice to play this much," said Grahame, who has seen action in all five games this season. "It's what you want. You get into a nice rhythm. That's what you work hard for in the summer, and it's nice to get rewarded when you play a game and you feel good after the game and you feel good the next day. It kind of validates why you work so hard in the summer."

The Senators have won 13 of the last 16 meetings with Tampa Bay (13-2-1), and have outscored the Lightning 17-9 in the last four meetings.

STANDINGS: Senators - 10 points, 1st place (tied), Northeast Division. Lightning - 10 points, 1st place (tied), Southeast Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Senators - Daniel Alfredsson, 5 goals; Jason Spezza, 6 assists; Alfredsson and Spezza, 9 points; Chris Neil, 25 PIM. Lightning - Vaclav Prospal and Vincent Lecavalier, 4 goals; Prospal, Ruslan Fedotenko, Cory Sarich and Dave Andreychuk, 4 assists; Prospal, 8 points; Pavel Kubina, 20 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Oct. 19): Senators - Power play: 28.0 percent (7 for 25), 3rd in NHL. Penalty killing: 86.2 percent (25 for 29), 13th. Lightning - Power play: 8.8 percent (4 for 45), 27th in NHL. Penalty killing: 94.8 percent (37 for 39), 2nd.

GOALTENDERS: Senators - Dominik Hasek (4-0-0, 1 SO, 1.92 GAA); Ray Emery (1-0-0, 0, 2.00). Lightning - Grahame (2-2-1, 1, 2.25); Sean Burke (1-0-1, 0, 1.36).

2003-04 SEASON SERIES: Senators, 4-0-0.

LAST MEETING: March 29, 2004; Senators, 5-4 (OT). At Tampa Bay, Alfredsson became the Senators' career goals leader with his 219th, and assisted on Chris Phillips' game-winner to give Ottawa a sweep of the season series.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Senators - 3-0-0 on the road; Lightning - 2-1-1 at home.


Associated Press
2005-2006 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 14 '06TBL 3 at OTT 4D. Alfredsson
Mar 06 '06OTT 4 at TBL 0A. Vermette
Nov 03 '05TBL 2 at OTT 4W. Redden
Oct 21 '05OTT 4 at TBL 1D. Alfredsson
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%