Taking on his former team on his new home ice for the first time, Ben Bishop stopped 31-of-33 shots as the Lightning defeated the Senators 3-2 Tuesday night at the Forum.
Ottawa opened the scoring in the first period on a slightly controversial goal by Daniel Alfredsson. The 17-year NHL veteran knocked a shot from teammate Kyle Turris out of the air and into the net, but the play was under review as to whether or not his stick was above the crossbar. Unfortunately for Tampa Bay, the officials ruled that the puck made contact with the stick below the crossbar, thus allowing the goal.
The Lightning and Senators came out strong in the middle stanza, with both clubs playing aggressive and physical hockey, as relected in the 10 penalties combined (Ottawa 6;Tampa Bay 4). However, the Bolts were able to tie the game 2:35 into the second after Pierre-Cedric Labrie netted his first career NHL goal.
Less than two minutes later, Vinny Lecavalier capitalized on a two-man advantage to put Tampa Bay up by one. On the score, Martin St. Louis was credited with one of the assists, giving him 900 career points, which is tied with Tony Amonte for 97th on the all-time NHL points list.
It appeared as if Ottawa would knot it up in the closing minutes of the period, but a Turris shot was waved off, citing the high-stick rule.
Starting the final period of regulation with just over a minute left on a BJ Crombeen holding-the-stick penalty that ended the second, Ottawa quickly scored 21 seconds to even it up at 2-2.
The third period did not have the same intensity as the previous 20 minutes until late when Steven Stamkos regained the league-leading goals scored (26) tie with Washington's Alex Ovechkin on a power play goal to put Tampa Bay back in the lead with 5:04 left. Lecavalier and St. Louis picked up the assists and ending the night with mutli-point games.
The Lightning would hang on in the waning moments of regulation to defeat the Senators and improve to 5-0-1 over their past six home games.
Next, Tampa Bay will host Pittsburgh on Thursday. At the end of the Lightning-Senators game, the Penguins lead the Eastern Conference with 60 points, while the Bolts are four points out of the final playoff spot.