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The Ottawa Senators haven't had a lot of enjoyment playing at home this season. The team hopes they won't all be like the last one.
The Senators (17-17-1) look to bounce back after an embarrassing loss at Scotiabank Place as they take on the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday - a team they have dominated at home in recent years.
Ottawa is coming off a 7-2 drubbing by the Boston Bruins on Tuesday. The Senators have been outscored 31-13 while losing five of their last seven games. On Tuesday, the Senators fell behind 5-0 before Christoph Schubert scored Ottawa's first goal with five seconds left in the second period.
"We didn't know how to play defense at all," Senators coach Bryan Murray said. "In the first period we gave up more odd-man rushes than we did on the entire road trip."
The Senators began a stretch Tuesday that includes 15 of 20 games at home - where they are 6-8-0 - and their eight losses are one less than they had for all of last season. Ottawa is tied with Carolina for second-fewest home games of any NHL team.
"We haven't really played that much at home but we've struggled home and away, on and off, this year and tonight was a tough one for us," goaltender Ray Emery said. "We wanted to battle, we wanted to come out hard and they got a couple of chances early on and buried them, and anytime you play from behind like that, it's tough."
Emery gave up five goals and was pulled after the second period. The goaltender has allowed 12 goals in his last three starts, but has a good chance at getting back on track facing the Lightning. Emery is 3-1-0 with a 2.01 goals-against average facing Tampa Bay (15-17-2), which has lost 18 of its last 26 games at Ottawa.
The Lightning are coming off a 5-4 win over the Washington Capitals on Tuesday, just their second victory in the last 10 games, and the win also ended a four-game losing streak. Martin St. Louis scored twice, increasing his point-streak to six games, while Vincent Lecavalier scored his 200th career goal.
Tampa Bay squandered a 4-1 second-period lead following another tough outing by goaltender Marc Denis, who improved to 7-11-2 with a 3.17 goals-against average.
Still, the team was happy with the win and not overly concerned about blowing the big lead.
"With all the bad bounces we got in the third, we still held on and got the victory," St. Louis said. "We've been on the other side, in terms of result, for a while now."
St. Louis leads the team with 45 points and 22 goals. He has scored in the team's last four games, but has been inconsistent against the Senators. St. Louis has a goal and two assists in two games this season against the Senators, but he has just four goals and 16 points in 22 games lifetime against Ottawa.
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