Lightning Blanked By Senators, 3-0
Three-Game Road Trip Up Next
The Tampa Bay Lightning fell to the Ottawa Senators, 3-0, at the St. Pete Times Forum tonight.
Ottawa rookie netminder Brian Elliott earned the first NHL shutout of his young career, but the Lightning made it an easy night for the goaltender, producing only 20 shots on net and just four each period after the first.
Dany Heatley, playing in his 500th NHL game, opened the scoring at 9:45 of the opening period when, while skating with the man advantage, he ripped a shot from Karri Ramo’s left that beat the Tampa Bay goaltender to the short side.
Ottawa received five extra-man opportunities tonight, and converted two of them, including a 5-on-3 two-man advantage in the third period. Tampa Bay, by contrast, had four power play chances, including a 5-on-3 for 34 seconds, during which they managed only one shot on net.
Before the first period came to a close, Ottawa extended their lead to 2-0 as the puck slipped under Ramo after a goal-mouth scramble. The goal was credited to Ryan Shannon at 13:44 of the period.
The Lightning actually out-shot the Senators in period one, 12-8, despite falling behind by two goals.
“We wanted to get the puck in behind their defense and in the first period we did an ok job of it,” Lightning forward Ryan Craig said. “But we kind of got away from it in the second and third periods and it showed.”
What also showed was that Tampa Bay was whistled for three penalties in the second half of period two, making it difficult to get much going offensively. David Koci went off at 10:32 for roughing followed by Jeff Halpern at 16:33 for slashing and topped off by Josef Melichar for hooking at 19:51.
While the Lightning managed to get through those shorthanded situations without getting scored on, the penalty killing kept them out of the Ottawa offensive zone.
Brandon Bochenski, just called up from Norfolk in the AHL, had the best chance to get Tampa Bay on the scoreboard when he broke in on Elliott from the netminder’s left at 5:57 of the final period. Elliott handled Bochenski’s scoring attempt with his right pad.
Any thought that Tampa Bay had of getting back into the contest disappeared at 16:41 of period three when Ryan Craig and Evengy Artyukhin were whistled for penalties simultaneously; Craig for cross-checking and Artyukhin for roughing. The Senators pounced on the two-man advantage and pumped four shots on the Lightning net before Jason Spezza beat Ramo with just 18 seconds remaining in the penalties. The 3-0 lead held up for Ottawa for the remaining three-plus minutes of the game and they skated out of Tampa with the win.
Ramo finished the night with 26 saves while Tampa Bay was out hit by the Senators, a rarity this season, by a 17-21 margin. Interestingly, Vincent Lecavalier
led all Tampa Bay skaters with three hits.
The Lightning head out for three road games now, beginning with the Boston Bruins on Tuesday night. And though they are just playing out the string at this juncture, don’t think for a second that these games don’t matter to interim head coach Rick Tocchet.
“When you get pushed around, you have to push back,” Tocchet said. “This is not going to happen next year. We’re going to make sure we play smart, tough hockey.”
He’d like to finish off this year that way, too.
|Three star selections