Steven Stamkos leads Lightning to their fourth win of the season against Senators.
Head coach Rick Tocchet decided to give Mike Smith the start in goal, and it seemed that Smitty was back to his normal self. Smith stopped 21 of 23 Ottawa shots and seemed to be positionally sound.
More good news for Lightning fans, despite Ottawa having the NHL's best penalty killing unit, The Lightning cashed in on the powerplay twice. Both powerplay goals came from Lightning sophomore Steven Stamkos as he scored his team leading eighth and ninth goals of the season.
The Bolts seemed set to put on a show in front of the home fans, as they came out with an aggressive first period. They out hit Ottawa 8-2 in the first as Stamkos scored the first goal of the night on a deflection from the Vincent Lecavalier shot from the blueline, putting the Bolts up 1-0.
Tampa Bay gave the Sens no shot to get back in the game in the second period as Todd Fedoruk jammed in a goal off of a rebound from Ottawa goaltender Brian Elliot to make it 2-0. This was Fedoruk's second goal of the season. Shortly after Alex Tanguay was stopped on a breakaway chance, Martin St. Louis had an oppurtunity to put the Bolts up 3-0, as he was tripped on a breakaway. St. Louis ripped the shot just wide of Elliot's glove and the score remained 2-0 lightning. Just 5 minutes later, Ryan Malone scored his eighth goal of the season on a wrap around goal from behind the net making it 3-0. Alex Tanguay and David Hale recieved assists on the play.
Early in the third the Lightning continued their dominance as Steven Stamkos scored his second goal of the night with an dazzling move around the Ottawa defenseman and ripped an amazing shot over Brian Elliot's glove, putting the Bolts in a healthy 4-0 lead. Two minutes later, Alex Tanguay ended his goal-less streak, netting his first as a Bolt of a nice play from Stamkos and Malone to give the Lightning their fifth goal of the night. The Senators attempted to make a comeback of a nice one-time slapshot from Jarkko Ruutu, and a weird goal off the stick of former Canadiens captain Alex Kovalev.
That was all the Lightning would need as they cruised to a 5-2 win. Things got a little heated towards the end as Ottawa Senators forward Chris Neil jousted with Steve Downie and Kurtis Foster. Overall, it was a great night for the Lightning as they improve their record to 4-3-3. They continue their home dominance as they improve to 4-0-2 at the St. Pete Times Forum. They'll look to continue their great play at home on Halloween night as they take on Martin Brodeur and the Devils at 3:00pm. Remember, children under 12 years of age get in for free with the purchase of an adult ticket.