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game recap

Senators 4, Lightning 1

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:47 AM

Associated Press

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Senators 4, Lightning 1
Tampa Bay Lightning 1, Ottawa Senators 4

OTTAWA (AP) - The Senators got pumped up for a comeback with a good dressing room pep talk and dominant special-teams play.

Martin Havlat and Jason Spezza scored power-play goals 1:07 apart early in the third period and Mike Fisher added a short-handed goal as Ottawa rallied to a 4-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning in the opener of the Eastern Conference playoff series Friday night.

Daniel Alfredsson scored into an empty net with 1:02 remaining and Ray Emery made 35 saves for the Senators in his postseason debut.

"The boys actually got a bit more talkative between the second and third," Emery said. "It was pretty quiet at the start and then the guys started saying, 'We've got to do this,' and, 'We've got to start playing with a bit more desperation.' It was exciting to see it because we talked about it and we actually went out and did it."

Game 2 of the best-of-seven series will be Sunday in Ottawa.

Emery, who drew an assist on Spezza's go-ahead goal 6:13 into the third, has carried the load for the Senators since Dominik Hasek was injured during the Olympics. He won 12 games in March to tie an NHL record for wins in a month.

"Experience doesn't mean very much the way he played tonight," Senators coach Bryan Murray said.

Vincent Lecavalier opened the scoring on a two-man advantage late in the first, and Tampa Bay - which outshot Ottawa 16-11 in a fast-paced opening period - held a 1-0 lead through 40 minutes.

"They played a terrific first period," Murray said. "I thought they stretched us really well and moved the puck and looked very creative, but you don't lose by one goal against in this building. We've got the ability to score some goals."

Havlat, limited to 18 games this season because of injuries, tied it during Ottawa's fifth power play at 5:06 of the third.

The Czech forward deked Lightning goalie John Grahame and fired a shot over his outstretched right pad. Havlat then skated to the left corner and jumped into the boards, banging his gloves against the glass as fans jumped to their feet to create a sea of red jerseys, shirts, jackets and Thunderstix in the crowd.

"I hadn't scored in a long time," said Havlat, who acknowledged that he had a couple of buddies sitting there.

Spezza assisted on Havlat's goal and gave the Senators a 2-1 lead moments later, beating Grahame over his left shoulder with a sharp-angled shot for Ottawa's second straight power-play goal.

"There wasn't much to shoot at," Grahame said. "I thought I was there, and obviously he's got (90) points for a reason."

Fisher made it a two-goal lead at 9:37 when he scored over Grahame's right pad to finish off a pretty pass from Peter Schaefer on a 2-on-1. The Senators led the NHL with 25 short-handed goals this season.

"We need to capitalize on some of our chances," Lightning coach John Tortorella said after his players failed to convert eight of nine power plays. "That's what changes the game, special teams. The first seven or eight minutes of that period, that's the game. No matter what the score is, that's the game right there."

Playing in just his third career playoff game, Grahame made a fine glove save on Dany Heatley in the first, and topped that with a spectacular grab on Antoine Vermette's slap shot on a short-handed 2-on-1 opportunity 6:45 into the second.

"John, he was great tonight for them, especially early on," Spezza said. "He made big saves and he's a big goaltender, there's not a lot of room on him."

The defending Stanley Cup champion Lightning took advantage of two Ottawa penalties 41 seconds apart to open the scoring. Lecavalier scored on a fine passing play just 13 seconds into the two-man advantage.

Lecavalier came close to scoring his second of the game when he hit the crossbar 6:20 into the second during a delayed penalty. Emery caught another break late in the period when Ruslan Fedotenko also hit the crossbar.

Senators forward Vaclav Varada collided with Grahame at 11:49, precipitating a scrum in the crease after the Lightning goalie made another glove stop on Vermette.

Notes: Grahame reached up to catch a loose puck after he batted his rebound of Chris Kelly's short-handed shot high into the air early in the first. ... Emery had a new boxing hero on his mask, Canadian heavyweight George Chuvalo. After catching flack for sporting a likeness of Mike Tyson earlier this season, Emery opened the playoffs with an image of the Canadian champion who went 15 rounds in a 1966 title bout loss to Muhammad Ali in Toronto. ... Wearing a cap and a track suit, Hasek stood at the end of the Senators bench behind Mike Morrison, Emery's backup. Morrison appeared in 25 games this season with Edmonton and Ottawa. He was 1-0-1 with a 3.48 goals-against-average in four appearances with the Senators. ... C Tyler Arnason, D Christoph Schubert and RW Brian McGrattan were among Ottawa's healthy scratches. RW Rob DiMaio was one of 11 players who didn't dress for the Lightning.

scoring summary
1st Period
19:00
TBL
PPG - Vincent Lecavalier (1) ASST: Dan Boyle (1), Brad Richards (1)
1 - 0 TBL
2nd Period
NONE
3rd Period
05:06
OTT
PPG - Martin Havlat (1) ASST: Jason Spezza (1), Peter Schaefer (1)
1 - 1 Tie
06:13
OTT
PPG - Jason Spezza (1) ASST: Dany Heatley (1), Ray Emery (1)
2 - 1 OTT
09:37
OTT
SHG - Mike Fisher (1) ASST: Peter Schaefer (2)
3 - 1 OTT
18:58
OTT
EN - Daniel Alfredsson (1) ASST: Dany Heatley (2), Anton Volchenkov (1)
4 - 1 OTT
penalty summary
1st Period
01:57
OTT
Patrick Eaves  Delaying Game-Puck over glass
07:53
TBL
Brad Richards  Hooking against  Dany Heatley
18:06
OTT
Peter Schaefer  Elbowing against  Cory Sarich
18:47
OTT
Zdeno Chara  Hi-sticking against  Martin St. Louis
2nd Period
01:27
TBL
Cory Sarich  Hooking against  Peter Schaefer
06:20
OTT
Andrej Meszaros  Hooking against  Nolan Pratt
08:17
TBL
Vinny Prospal  Too many men/ice - bench
12:54
TBL
Vincent Lecavalier  Slashing against  Daniel Alfredsson
19:43
OTT
Chris Phillips  Hooking against  Vincent Lecavalier
3rd Period
03:49
TBL
Freddy Modin  Holding against  Bryan Smolinski
05:15
TBL
Dan Boyle  Hooking against  Patrick Eaves
06:35
OTT
Antoine Vermette  Interference against  Vinny Prospal
08:31
OTT
Dany Heatley  Hooking against  Dan Boyle
16:48
OTT
Dany Heatley  Interference against  Martin St. Louis
19:52
OTT
Chris Neil  Slashing against  Chris Dingman
20:00
TBL
Pavel Kubina  Hooking against  Brian Pothier
goalie stats
John Grahame
John Grahame
SA: 37TOI: 59:14
Saves: 34EV: 21 - 21
PIM: 0PP: 8 - 10
SV%: .919SH: 5 - 6
Ray Emery
SA: 36TOI: 60:00
Saves: 35EV: 23 - 23
PIM: 0PP: 11 - 12
SV%: .972SH: 1 - 1