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The Ottawa Senators have been a dominant team of late. Their dominance over the Tampa Bay Lightning has lasted the past two seasons.
The Senators look to extend their season-high winning streak to five games and beat the Lightning for the ninth straight time in the regular season when the teams meet Sunday for the first time since the 2005-06 playoffs.
Ottawa (11-11-1) swept Tampa Bay (12-10-1) in each of the four-game series over the last two regular seasons before eliminating the Lightning in five games in the first round of the playoffs in April. The Senators haven't lost to Tampa Bay since a 2-1 home defeat on March 1, 2003.
Ottawa improved to 2-0 on its four-game road trip by beating Florida 6-4 on Friday for its fourth straight victory. The Senators last won five in a row from Feb. 11-March 6.
"We're back to .500," said Senators center Jason Spezza, whose 10th goal of the season put the Senators ahead in the third period Friday. "We don't want to go below .500 again."
Dany Heatley recorded his second hat trick of the season and the Senators scored three unanswered goals in the final 13:27 to come away with the win. Heatley added an assist on Spezza's goal to give him a career high-tying four points.
"Sometimes it's going in, no matter what you do, it goes in for you and sometimes it doesn't," Heatley said. "It was one of those games where it went in."
Heatley had four goals and 13 assists while contributing at least one point in all nine meetings against Tampa Bay last season. He had two goals and five assists versus the Lightning during the regular season.
Ray Emery has started each game during Ottawa's current win streak, stopping 122 of 132 shots in that span. Including playoffs, he is 6-1-0 with a 2.30 goals-against average against Tampa Bay.
The Lightning rallied from a two-goal deficit with a pair of power-play goals and an overtime score to win their second in a row Friday, 3-2 over Atlanta.
Dan Boyle's second power-play goal of the game tied it with 20.5 seconds left in regulation before Martin St. Louis scored his team-leading 14th goal with 2:35 remaining in overtime.
Boyle's score came on a deflected shot that went in off Thrashers defenseman Andy Sutton.
"As a team, as an individual, you need certain bounces like that," said Boyle, who has three goals and two assists in the last two games. "Once in a while, you need something good to happen. When it does, it can turn a team around and individual players."
Tampa Bay has won a season-high three straight twice this season.
St. Louis also had an assist on the tying goal to give him seven points in his last three games.
Brad Richards, third on the Lightning with 19 points, had three goals and five assists against Ottawa in last season's playoffs.
|Mar 24 '07||OTT 7 at TBL 2||D. Heatley|
|Dec 21 '06||TBL 4 at OTT 2||P. Ranger|
|Dec 02 '06||TBL 2 at OTT 5||A. Vermette|
|Nov 26 '06||OTT 1 at TBL 3||B. Richards|