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Lightning Rough Up Ottawa, Magic Number Now Two

Dwayne Roloson made 31 saves, Marty St. Louis and Dominic Moore both scored two goals, and the Tampa Bay Lightning carried the play for the majority of the game as they skated to their second straight victory and halving the gap between the team and the franchises first playoff berth in four years. By knocking off the Ottawa Senators 4-2 at the St. Petersburg Times Forum, The Lightning are now just two points away from clinching their spot in the playoffs and with their second consecutive win the momentum is moving in a positive direction for the first time in what has been an arduous month for the Bolts.

The shoot often mentality that led the Lightning to victory Saturday night against the Carolina Hurricanes carried over to Tuesdays game with Ottawa as the Bolts consistently applied pressure to Senators goalie Curtis McElhinney who faced 31 shots, allowing five goals including late empty netter to Steven Stamkos.

For Stamkos, it was his 44th goal on the year and the first points in six games for the struggling superstar. Simon Gagne continued to be red hot, notching two assists giving him twelve points in his past four games. St. Louis tallied two goals of his own, giving him 94 points for the year and moving him into second place in the race for the scoring title.

The Bolts did give up yet another shorthanded goal late in the third period, their NHL sixteenth on the year, to Senators forward Milan Michalek. Jason Spezza also scored on a tip-in that he appeared to have kicked into the net, but when the play was reviewed the goal was upheld by replay officials in Toronto.

Tampa Bay, in fifth place, will next host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday at the forum. The battered Pens are in fourth place in the eastern Conference, five points ahead of the Lightning.

Photographs by cstreet.us, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.