NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, December 5th (All times Eastern)
Ottawa Senators (11-13-4) at Tampa Bay Lightning (16-10-1), 7:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Tampa Bay Lightning hope to break out of their scoring slump on Thursday night as they play host to the Ottawa Senators, who themselves are looking to find some consistency.
The Lightning have been shut out in back-to-back games and in three of their last five. Two of those have come by 1-0 decisions, including Tuesday's setback to the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Tampa Bay failed to score against the Blue Jackets' Sergei Bobrovsky, who left with 15:47 to play in the game, or Curtis McElhinney. The duo combined to stop 26 shots.
"If you're not frustrated, something is wrong with you right now," said Martin St. Louis, who was robbed by McElhinney on a late chance.
The Lightning have lost six of their last eight games overall and five in a row on the road. They are 4-5-1 since star center Steven Stamkos broke his leg.
Tampa Bay, which was coming off a 3-0 loss at home to Pittsburgh last Friday, has not scored since Tyler Johnson's empty-net tally with 34 seconds left in a 4-2 win over Philadelphia last Friday. It has not scored against an opposing netminder since Victor Hedman's tally five minutes into the third period versus the Flyers.
"If it's not off the rush, we're done," St. Louis said. "We have to be able to sustain offensive pressure."
Ben Bishop made 20 saves versus the Blue Jackets and could face his former club tonight. Bishop's only other meeting versus the Senators came on April 9 of last season, six days after he was traded to the Lightning by Ottawa for Cory Conacher and a draft pick.
Bishop stopped 31-of-33 shots faced in the win.
The Senators snapped a two-game slide on Tuesday with a 4-2 win over the Florida Panthers. They allowed the first two goals of the game, both on Panther power plays, before getting first-period goals from Joe Corvo and Erik Condra to even things up.
Colin Greening had the go-ahead goal with 43 seconds remaining in the second period and Bobby Ryan added a third-period tally.
Though Ottawa won for just the third time in its past nine games, it was a win that head coach Paul MacLean is hoping his team can build on.
"We're showing signs of being consistent," he said.
Craig Anderson made 30 saves and Clarke MacArthur had two assists to give him 10 points over his last eight games.
The win improved Anderson to just 7-8-2 with a 3.42 goals against average this season, but he is 6-2-2 with a 1.42 GAA and three shutouts lifetime versus the Lightning.
The Bolts won two of three versus the Senators last season -- winning both meetings in Tampa -- but the Sens have still won seven of the last 10 encounters overall.
12/05 10:30:37 ET