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Dramatic comebacks and clutch goals by Daniel Alfredsson have powered the Ottawa Senators' three-game winning streak.
Another visit from the Tampa Bay Lightning may be just what they need to extend their run.
Alfredsson and the Senators will try to make things easier on themselves and continue their home success against the Lightning on Thursday night.
Ottawa (20-15-5) has won three in a row, but has had to come from behind to force overtime in each game. Alfredsson capped two of those rallies with goals in the extra session, and also scored in a shootout to help the Senators win the other contest, a 3-2 New Year's Eve victory at Buffalo.
Most recently, the captain found the net with 59.4 seconds left in overtime Monday to give the Senators a 3-2 home win over New Jersey.
"It's fun to win at home and come back the way we did," Alfredsson said. "I think it builds character - finding ways to win. We've done a good job. Every night's a battle, you've just got to come in and try to steal as many points as you can and we've been doing that pretty well lately."
The Senators have made a habit of coming from behind all season, leading the Eastern Conference with 12 victories when trailing or tied after two periods. Their 54 third-period goals are tied with Boston for most in the NHL.
"We don't preach before the game, 'Let's give them two and then come from behind,'" coach Paul MacLean said. "We like to say, 'Let's get out and get the lead,' and we'd like to have the opportunity to hold the lead and play with the lead and gain that experience, but until we do that we'll take the wins the way they come."
Three of Ottawa's third-period goals and one of their comebacks came Dec. 5 in the Lightning's last visit. Alfredsson scored the first of the Senators' three consecutive third-period goals en route to a 4-2 victory.
Alfredsson has 15 goals and 26 assists in his last 28 games against Tampa Bay. Jason Spezza has also thrived, with 16 goals and 30 assists in 32 career games.
Ottawa has taken 22 of its last 26 home meetings with the Lightning (17-18-3), who might not be arriving at the best time to reverse that trend. Tampa Bay is 6-13-3 on the road this season, including three straight losses.
The Lightning dropped the opener of their three-game trip through Eastern Canada on Tuesday in a 7-3 rout at Toronto, getting outshot 42-24.
"I don't want to downplay (the Leafs' effort), but we're horrible against everybody," coach Guy Boucher said. "Sometimes I feel we could have four orange cones against us on the road and we still wouldn't get a shot. We could certainly do better against anybody no matter what they do."
Steven Stamkos scored in Tuesday's loss, giving him seven goals during a four-game streak. He has just one in seven career visits to Ottawa and none in his last three, though he did assist on both Lightning goals in last month's loss to the Senators.
Vincent Lecavalier has three goals in his last four games overall, but one in his last 12 against Ottawa.
The Lightning traded center Blair Jones to Calgary on Friday for minor league defenseman Brendan Mikkelson. Jones has two goals and two assists in 22 games this season.
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