Bolts Fall Flat, Lose To Senators 2-1

The Lightning can regain its place atop the Southeast Division with a win tonight against the eastern conferences last place team.

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Bolts Fall Flat Against Senators, Lose 2-1

TAMPA, FL - Despite a furious third period, the Tampa Bay Lightning was unable to dig itself out of an early hole and complete a come back against the Ottawa Senators Friday night at the St. Petersburg Times Forum.

The Bolts, coming off Wednesday nights shootout win against the Chicago Blackhawks, came out noticeably flat in the first period, and played most of the second period short handed as the Senators were granted five straight penalties to start the game. Ottawa star Jason Spezza scored a power play goal in the first period, and Bobby Butler scored at full strength in the second frame to give the Senators a 2-0 lead as the Lightning labored to find their energy.

Martin St. Louis would score on a five on three power play early in the third period, cutting the deficit in half and perhaps sparking the Bolts as the Lightning completely dominated the play in the final frame, out-shooting the Senators 20-4 in the last 20 minutes. However, despite the heavy shot disparity St. Louis and company were unable to force another puck past Ottawa's newly acquired net-minder.

Ottawa goaltender Curtis McElhinney has had an interesting couple weeks. Just before the deadline he was traded from the Anaheim Ducks to Tampa Bay in the Dan Ellis deal, but never played a game with the Lightning before being claimed off of waivers by the Senators, and culminating in his first start for Ottawa Friday night against the team that had just tried to acquire him. McElhinney would finish with 34 saves including 19 in the final frame, earning his first win as a member of the Senators club.

With the loss, the Lightning fall four points out of first in the Southeastern division as Washington knocked off Carolina this evening. The Bolts will now hit the road, first heading to Sunrise to take on the division foe Florida Panthers tomorrow night.


Lightning Look To Make It Two Straight Against Struggling Senators

TAMPA, FL - The Tampa Bay Lightning will look to make it two straight and reverse the emotions of a difficult five game stretch that saw the team win only once. Trailing Washington by two points in the standings, the Bolts can also get back to the top of the Southeast division with a win against the last place Ottawa Senators at the St. Pete Times forum Friday night.

The Tampa defense will be missing veteran Pavel Kubina who was suspended three games by the NHL for an elbow to the head of Chicago's Dave Bolland in the first period of Wednesday's game. Kubina was not called for a penalty on the play but was suspended following it, despite the league not suspending Zedeno Chara for his vicious hit earlier in the week. Mike Lundin returned from injury against Chicago and should be able to fill the defensive hole going forward.

Fortunately, Kubina's veteran presence may not be too greatly missed as Ottawa (24-34-9) is having a season to forget and is already 0-3 against the Bolts in their last three meetings. The match up with the senators begins a nine game stretch in which the Lightning will only face one playoff team (sixth place Montreal), a welcome reprieve from the tough schedule that saw the Bolts falter and fall out of first place in the division.

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