WHY THE SENATORS LOST
They couldn’t build on an early lead, despite a myriad of chances. They spent a good part of the night buzzing around the opposing goal crease, only to be denied again and again. As a result, the Lightning didn’t have far to climb. They struck twice in the first 5:43 of the third period to take a 2-1 lead they wouldn’t relinquish. Make it one of a possible four points since general manager Bryan Murray warned failure would bring changes.
Dwayne Roloson, Lightning
The Tampa keeper had a nice bounce-back after allowing five goals on 23 shots in an 8-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins Wednesday. He stopped 31 of 32 against the Senators, including more than a handful on desperate goal-mouth scrambles.
Alex Kovalev, Senators
The Senators’ collapse started after some lackadaisical puck-handling by Kovalev. He turned it over to Adam Hall in the high slot, who completed a give-and-go with Dominic Moore to tie things up 1-1. In other news, Kovalev has one point in his last seven games.
Martin St. Louis is generously listed a 5-feet-9, so maybe it isn’t a surprise he was able to sneak up to Ottawa goalie Brian Elliott’s left and tap in the game-winning goal on a rebound. It was a bad shift all-around for the Senators. Mike Fisher blocked a shot earlier, eventually leaving the game with a lower body injury. He didn’t return.
- 0-3: Ottawa on the man advantage.
- 3: Wingers used by Cory Clouston on one power play unit in the third period (Daniel Alfredsson, Milan Michalek and Alex Kovalev).
- 25: Saves by Brian Elliott in his second straight solid game.
YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED
Erik Karlsson didn’t score any points in his 100th career NHL game, but the early returns have been pretty good for the Senators. He has 51 points in those contests, which gives him a better career per-game average than all but one Ottawa defender. He still has plenty of work to do to catch up to Sergei Gonchar’s 703 points in 1033 games (0.68), but Karlsson IS only 20 years old.
Steve Downie is making a habit of putting dangerous hits on Ottawa players. A few years after knocking then-Senator Dean McAmmond unconscious with a vicious charge, the Tampa winger lined up Peter Regin with a blind-side blast Saturday night. Not to be outdone in his own rink, Jarkko Ruutu put a scary trip on Martin St. Louis later in the period. The Ottawa agitator just missed going knee-on-knee and potentially doing some serious damage to his target.