NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Monday, March 24th
(All times Eastern)
Ottawa Senators (28-29-13) at Tampa Bay Lightning (39-24-8), 7:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Tampa Bay Lightning picked up a well-earned point in
a recent loss, but the Bolts hope to record their sixth win in seven games
when they welcome the sliding Ottawa Senators for Monday's game in Central
Tampa Bay is trying to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2011,
and although picking up wins down the stretch is the best way to ensure a
return to the postseason, losses that come after regulation can sometimes help
After having a five-game winning streak halted with Saturday's overtime loss
in Pittsburgh, the Lightning enter Sunday with 86 points. That gives them a
one-point edge over Montreal for second place in the Atlantic Division with
the top three clubs from each division earning an automatic bid to the
postseason. Tampa also is six points clear of Detroit and Toronto in the
Tampa Bay's Ondrej Palat scored with 1:22 left in regulation to force overtime
on Saturday, but James Neal delivered the 4-3 win for the Penguins, scoring
the game-winning goal 1:27 into OT.
Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin scored twice in the final 8:53 of regulation and
added two assists, including one on the deciding goal. With the Penguins on a
4-on-3 advantage in the extra frame thanks to a too many men on the ice
penalty, Malkin sent a pass down to Neal in the right circle, and Neal beat
Anders Lindback with a one-timer to the far side.
"It's extremely frustrating with how it ended up," Lightning head coach Jon
Cooper said, referencing the bad break his team caught with the penalty. "If
that puck bounces one way, it doesn't happen."
Lindback gave up four goals on 29 shots as the Lightning were unable to win
six in a row for the first time since a seven-game winning streak from Jan.
17-Feb. 4, 2012.
Steven Stamkos had a goal and also assisted on Valtteri Filppula's second-
Beginning with Monday's test at Tampa Bay Times Forum, the Bolts are playing
two straight and eight of their next 10 games at home. The Lightning have won
three in a row in Tampa and are 20-8-5 as the host this season.
While the Lightning are aiming to halt a two-season playoff drought, the
sliding Senators are headed for their first year out of the postseason since
2011. Ottawa is 11 points out of a playoff spot in the East with only 12 games
left on its schedule and is in the midst of a season-worst six-game losing
The Senators lost for the fourth straight time in regulation on Saturday,
dropping a 3-1 road decision against Dallas. It was the fourth loss in the
last five away games for Ottawa, which fell to 15-14-7 as the guest after
losing the opener of a three-game swing.
Ottawa was tied 1-1 with the Stars at the end of 40 minutes, but Trevor Daley
and Jamie Benn found the net in the third period to spur Dallas to victory.
Daley's go-ahead goal came 4:52 into the period and Benn scored just over two
Erik Karlsson scored the lone goal for Ottawa, while Robin Lehner absorbed the
loss despite making 41 saves.
"We started pretty well," said Karlsson. "We got the lead but couldn't really
follow through until the end there and they had a couple of nice goals to
finish it off. I think we battled hard and our competing level was there, but
unfortunately we just couldn't put the puck in the net."
Lehner has lost all six games during the Sens' current slide, and with No. 1
netminder Craig Anderson battling a left shoulder injury, he could get another
start on Monday.
Ottawa's Bobby Ryan, who leads the club with 23 goals this season, left
Saturday's loss with a lower-body injury. The winger is questionable for
The Senators, who are on their first six-game slide since going 0-6-1 from
Jan. 21-Feb. 7, are 4-9-3 over their last 16 games.
Tampa Bay has won four of the last five meetings with Ottawa and has claimed
three of four encounters in 2013-14. Ottawa has lost four straight and seven
of its last 10 road games against the Bolts.
03/24 10:52:52 ET