Game 56: Ottawa Senators at Tampa Bay Lightning

The Ottawa Senators beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-0 at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on Tueasday.

You know, sometimes the puck just will not go in the net.

"For that game to be one-nothing for so long it just seems like it's right there. Their goalie made some really good saves and really kept them in there but it was right there the whole time. We just couldn't bury one." - Vincent Lecavalier

The Senators got on the board very early, when Erik Karlsson scored on their first shot of the game at 1:04 on assists from Jason Spezza and Bobby Butler. After that, the Lightning had several "seriously, how did we not score there???" moments but the first period ended 1-0 Ottawa.

The second period offered more of the same for the Lightning as they were repeatedly denied on scoring chances. Ottawa was patient if not persistent offensively and doubled the lead on a powerplay goal from Spezza at 16:32 with help from Filip Kuba and Karlsson. The teams headed into the second intermission with Ottawa on top 2-0.

Spezza scored again at 12:37 of the third, this time with assists from Butler and Milan Michalek. He then capped off the night, getting the hat trick on an empty netter at 18:58 with an assist from Sergei Gonchar. Senators goalie Craig Anderson stopped all 28 shots he faced. Mathieu Garon finished with 23 saves on the 26 shots he faced in net for Tampa Bay.

The Lightning have now been held scoreless against Ottawa for the last 71:52. Steven Stamkos was the last Bolt to find the back of the net against the Senators when he scored the lone Tampa Bay goal of the game at 8:48 of the third period in the 4-1 loss at Ottawa on January 5th.

"We just couldn't score again. We're playing against Ken Dryden when we play Ottawa. Three games in a row we get wide open nets and wide open opportunities and either he makes a save or we miss the net. We had more scoring opportunities today than we had in the last two games." - head coach Guy Boucher

Game notes:

  • The Lightning honored the memory of former University of Tampa and NFL standout Freddie Solomon with a moment of silence before the game. Solomon, who distinguished himself through his work with local charitable efforts and youth programs long after his football career ended, passed away Monday after a nine-month battle with cancer.
  • NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman was at the game and spent time in a suite chatting with Lightning owner Jeff Vinik.
  • Several San Jose Sharks were also in attendance, killing time in Tampa after their last game in Washington on Monday and before squaring off with the Lightning on Thursday.
  • The Lightning are now 3-14-2 this season when trailing after the first period.
  • Ryan Malone returned to the lineup after missing eight games with an upper-body injury. Brett Connolly was a healthy scratch.
  • This was the second time the Lightning have been shut out this season, previously losing 3-0 at St. Louis behind Brian Elliott on November 12. The last time it happened at home was April 2, 2010 against the New York Rangers and Henrik Lundqvist).
  • The Lightning honored Neil Armstrong as a Lightning Community Hero during the first period of tonight’s game against the Ottawa Senators. Armstrong, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will divide the money among his charities of choice, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay and Computer Mentors Group. For over 44 years, Armstrong has selflessly devoted his time to mentoring young people throughout the Tampa Bay Area, helping them find their course in life as a precursor to becoming successful adults. Among his acts of service to the community include serving as a Big Brother to not one or two, but three young men, in addition to holding the position of vice chair of Computer Mentors Group, a non-profit organization comprised of computer professionals who guide youth towards careers in the computer industry. Armstrong’s passion for serving young people also extends across all backgrounds and demographics. Nearly two years ago, Armstrong organized the 'Goals For A Cause' Hockey Tournament to benefit the Kocab/Curtis Memorial Fund in honor of slain Tampa police officers Jeffrey Kocab and David Curtis. He also established himself as a key member of Verizon’s Diversity Council where he made pathways for people of color to climb the ranks of management at Verizon, and even after retiring, is still active with a number of organizations including Junior Achievement, Power Soccer, Verizon Mentoring Program, Florida Old-timers Hockey Association, and Developmental Roundtable for Upward Ability.
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