Tampa Bay, 21-32-13, meet the Sens for the third time this season, with one more match-up still to follow, in Tampa on March 29. To date, the teams have split the series, each getting a win in their home building.
Martin St. Louis leads the Lightning down the stretch with 65 points and Vincent Lecavalier is setting the pace for the team with 28 goals. Ryan Malone, third on the team in goals for the season with 23, has scored two goals in two games against Toronto this season.
Every remaining game is crucial for Ottawa at this point, as they cling to a thinning hope to make the post-season. The Senators, 26-29-10, are in 12th place in the Eastern Conference, 15 points out of the eighth and final playoff spot. This despite the fact that Ottawa has compiled three consecutive wins during a stretch that comprised seven consecutive home games. Tonight’s game with Tampa Bay, their eighth in-a-row at home, will conclude the long homestand.
Rookie netminder Brian Elliot has been the catalyst for the Senator winning streak. He is currently sporting a 2.71 goals against average and has allowed only seven goals in his last four appearances.
Dany Heatley leads the Senators in both points, with 61 on the season, and goals scored, with 32. That figure is good enough to tie Heatley for ninth place among all NHL goal scorers. He has seven goals and 16 points in his last 12 games against the Lightning.
Daniel Alfredsson, with 60 points on the season, trails Heatley y only one point for the team lead in that category.
Following tonight’s game, Tampa Bay moves on to Toronto for a back-to-back game against the Maple Leafs on Thursday night.