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Senators-Lightning Preview

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 5:15 AM

Associated Press

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Senators-Lightning Preview
Ottawa Senators vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

GAME: Ottawa Senators (40-14-5) at Tampa Bay Lightning (32-24-4).

TIME: Monday, 7:30 p.m. EST.

The Tampa Bay Lightning seek to salvage at least one point on their current homestand and overcome their struggles against the Ottawa Senators when the teams face off at the St. Pete Times Forum.

The defending Stanley Cup champions have lost their first two post-Olympic games, both at home, by a combined 14-4 score. After an 8-2 defeat to Florida last Tuesday, Tampa Bay allowed three third-period goals in a six-minute span of a 6-2 loss to Montreal on Saturday.

U.S. Olympian John Grahame allowed all six goals on 22 shots. He has a 5.20 goals-against average and an .829 save percentage in his last five games.

"Was our goaltending good? No, it wasn't, but we can't start looking at the goaltending," said Lightning coach John Tortorella. "If we are going to look at pointing fingers and blame, you know what happens. That's what disturbs me the most."

Vincent Lecavalier had a goal and an assist in Saturday's loss. Brad Richards assisted on Lecavalier's goal, extending his points streak to eight games.

"It's not the end of the world yet," said Richards, who has three goals and 11 assists during his streak. "We just have to make sure we nip it right away."

Tampa Bay is in seventh place in the Eastern Conference, two points in front of Montreal and starts a season-high five-game road trip Tuesday at Pittsburgh.

The Lightning have lost six straight meetings with the Senators, and have only five wins in 30 games against Ottawa since the start of the 1997-98 season.

The Northeast Division-leading Senators won their fourth straight game Saturday, 4-2 at Toronto. Dany Heatley had a goal and an assist, and has had points in every game in the win streak, totaling three goals and three assists.

Dominik Hasek has sat out the last three games with a hip adductor injury suffered in the Olympics, but rookie backup Ray Emery has filled in nicely, posting a 2.00 goals-against average and .929 save percentage in the contests.

Emery, who grew up in nearby Hamilton, Ontario, made 24 saves in Toronto.

"It was one of the most exciting games of my life," Emery said.

The Senators seek their first three-game road winning streak since taking five straight from Oct. 29-Nov. 25.

STANDINGS (through March 4): Senators - 85 points, 1st place, Northeast Division. Lightning - 68 points, 2nd place, 20 PB, Southeast Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Senators - Heatley, 36 goals; Jason Spezza, 47 assists; Daniel Alfredsson, 78 points; Chris Neil, 157 PIM. Lightning - Lecavalier, 26 goals; Richards, 44 assists and 62 points; Pavel Kubina, 80 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through March 5): Senators - Power play: 20.8 percent (74 for 355), 2nd in NHL. Penalty killing: 85.3 percent (307 for 360), 3rd (tie). Lightning - Power play: 15.1 percent (54 for 358), 27th. Penalty killing: 82.9 percent (242 for 292), 13th.

GOALTENDERS: Senators - Emery (12-4-1, 1 SO, 2.93 GAA); Billy Thompson (no record). Lightning - Grahame (22-17-1, 5, 2.84); Sean Burke (10-6-3, 1, 2.80).

SEASON SERIES: Senators, 2-0.

LAST MEETING: Nov. 3; Senators, 4-2. At Ottawa, Alfredsson and Wade Redden each had a goal and an assist, and Hasek made 31 saves for the Senators. Martin St. Louis and Vaclav Prospal each had two assists for Tampa Bay.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Senators - 17-8-4 on the road; Lightning - 16-11-2 at home.

2005-2006 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 14 '06 TBL 3 at OTT 4 D. Alfredsson
Mar 06 '06 OTT 4 at TBL 0 A. Vermette
Nov 03 '05 TBL 2 at OTT 4 W. Redden
Oct 21 '05 OTT 4 at TBL 1 D. Alfredsson