Point gets shootout winner, Lightning edge Senators
TAMPA, Fla. — Brayden Point scored the deciding goal in a shootout to lift the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 4-3 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Thursday night.
Alex Killorn, Yanni Gourde and Vladislav Namestnikov scored in regulation for Tampa Bay (25-7-2), which won for the eighth time in the past nine games. Nikita Kucherov finished with two assists.
Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy made 18 saves through regulation and overtime, and stopped both shooters in the shootout.
Senators goalie Craig Anderson stopped 35 shots, including five in overtime. Bobby Ryan, Cody Ceci and Derick Brassard had the goals for Ottawa, which is 2-1-1 in the past four since a 1-10-2 stretch.
“I thought we did a great job of limiting their opportunities and just playing together,” Anderson said. “We worked hard and battled for 65 minutes, and if we keep doing that we’ll get the results that we need.”
Ottawa (11-14-8) never trailed in the game, leading 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2.
“They are a powerful team with all kinds of depth,” Senators coach Guy Boucher said. “But our penalty kill played great, the power play scored, our goalie played great, Erik (Karlsson) had a great game. A lot of positives out of that game and it’s too bad we couldn’t hold one of these leads.”
The Senators opened the scoring, in part due to the pressure they put on the puck.
Ryan zipped down the middle for a quick breakaway chance that was stopped by Vasilevskiy. Tampa Bay defenseman Dan Girardi collected the rebound and tried to clear the puck across the crease but instead hit teammate Braydon Coburn in the shin.
The puck deflected in to the net for a goal that was credited to Ryan at 6:31 of the first period.
“In the first period, I felt like we were fine, not really giving up much, but we weren’t really generating much either,” Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said. “It was just tough because the guys were battling and we give up the own goal.”
Ottawa carried that lead in to the second period, though the ice started to tilt in Tampa Bay’s favor and the chances started to come for the highest scoring team in the league.
During a delayed penalty call on the Senators, the Lightning tied the score as Kucherov found space at the right circle and zipped a wrist shot that deflected first off Tyler Johnson and then Killorn for his fourth of the season at 11:59.
Ceci regained the lead for the Senators as he came down on a partial two-on-one and patiently waited as he skated through the crease and beat Vasilevskiy with a backhand at 14:34.
Gourde pulled the Lightning even again, tapping in a wraparound chance by Cory Conacher for his 11th of the season at 15:40.
Ottawa regained the lead with a power-play goal as Brassard deflected an Erik Karlsson shot, his third goal in the past two games, at 5:59 of the third period.
Tampa Bay answered again when Anderson robbed Hedman and Namestnikov pushed in the rebound for his career-high 15th goal of the season with 8:55 remaining in the third.
“We kept going down and kept battling back and I really like that about group,” Cooper said. “You never how it’s going to turn out, but you just felt with the way we were playing that it was only going to be a matter of time and they got rewarded.”
NOTES: Ottawa D Dion Phanuef missed the game after he and his wife, Elisha, welcomed their first child, Zaphire. His status for the Saturday game at Florida is unknown. ... The Senators placed C Gabriel Dumont, who started the season with Tampa Bay, on injured reserve because of an ankle injury. ... Ottawa recalled C Filip Chlapik and D Andreas Englund, both of whom were scratched. ... Tampa Bay C Tyler Johnson and D Jake Dotchin both returned to the lineup after missing the Tuesday game with the flu. ... The Lightning scratched D Slater Koekkoek and D Andrej Sustr. ... Ottawa RW Bobby Ryan took the opening shift of the third period and did not return.