OTTAWA – It was a contest that seemed doomed from the beginning for the Tampa Bay Lightning, who fell 5-3 to the Ottawa Senators Thursday night at Canadian Tire Centre.
“I think Ben’s going to be okay,” head coach Jon Cooper said. “I feel for him. It’s a tough play what happened. I checked on him after the first, he said he was feeling pretty good. I think it was more of a precaution that we kept him out.
“We lose Filppula in the first couple minutes of the second too. Couple pretty important players for our team, but that’s not the reason we lost, we got out played.”
Misfortune quickly hit the Lightning in the first period. Bishop attempted to play the puck against Mika Zibanejad. Bolts' teammate Nikita Kucherov, who was coming in with speed in the direction of Bishop tried to avoid him, but clipped him in the back of the head with his skate.
At the same time of the incident, the Senators Marc Methot was able to score on the open net at 1:49.
Lindback managed to hold off Ottawa for nearly the remainder of the period, but Erik Karlsson scored with 26 seconds left in the opening frame to extend the Senators lead to 2-0.
After going seven games without a goal, Alex Killorn halted his scoring drought with his 13th of the season to start the second period and cut Ottawa's lead by one. The Sens responed with two more before the end of 40 minutes of play.
The first of the pair of goals came from Zack Smith with a wrister that went top shelf on Lindback at 6:24. Then Mark Barberio attempted to break-up a Senators' rush, but Bobby Ryan slipped through and set up Kyle Turris' late marker at 18:39.
During the second, Filppula was bumped by a Senators player and felt signs of discomfort. He went to the locker room and returned to the ice for one shift, but immediately skated back to the bench and shook his head "no" at Mulligan. He then left the game for good with what was a lower body injury.
In the third, Ryan got one of his own and increased the Senators lead to 5-1 at 6:54 with a one-timer down the slot.
Tallies from Tyler Johnson and Victor Hedman cut Ottawa's lead by two by the 17:08 mark of the third period, but it wasn't enough to salvage the win for Tampa Bay, who dropped their second in a four-game road swing. With Johnson's goal, Ondrej Palat extended his point streak to five games, while Martin St. Louis earned his 600th NHL assist on Hedman's marker.
UP NEXT – Despite the shakeups in the lineup Thursday evening, Tampa Bay's schedule does not slow down as they look to get two points from their third and final Atlantic Division opponent this week. They will play the Montreal Canadiens Saturday at 1 p.m.