Resiliency not enough as Senators lose 5-2 to Lightning

The Ottawa Senators showed some very impressive resiliency in the third period of Tuesday night's game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, but couldn't come back and ended up losing by a 5-2 score.

Some lacklustre defensive coverage was culpable as the Senators allowed Martin St. Louis and then Dominic Moore to put rebounds past Curtis McElhinney, and then St. Louis scored a second goal in the third period. Jason Spezza spoiled Dwayne Roloson's shutout mid-way through the third and gave the Sens some energy, but after Moore and Milan Michalek exchanged goals, Steven Stamkos salted away the game with an empty-net goal.

[Boxscore] [Game summary] [Event summary] [Faceoff report]
[Play-by-play] [TOI - Senators] [Shot report]

Sens Hero: Penalty killing
The Senators penalty killing has continued to impress. Tonight, they killed all four short handed chances, holding the Lightning to as many powerplay shots as Ottawa had shorthanded ones (two). And not only that, the Senators' aggressive penalty kill saw Filip Kuba, Spezza, and Michalek all deep in the offensive end and set up the latter for his fourth short-handed goal of the year. The Sens have not allowed a powerplay goal in six games, killing all 19 penalties over that span.

Sens Killer: Dominic Moore
Heck of a game for Dominic 'second-round pick' Moore, who added an assist to his two-goal night. Some will likely take issue with his first goal--the puck was under McElhinney's glove when Moore poked it in--and his second goal capped off a pretty passing play, but the common denominator to both is something every team needs in the playoffs: A willingness to drive to the net.

Sens Hero: Jason Spezza
One goal and one assist, why not give Spezza a hero's nod? He played 24:11 TOI overall, including 2:37 SH TOI, fired four shots on net, and was 14-for-21 in the faceoff circle for 67 per cent. With 48P in 57GP this season, can he get to point-per-game pace? It'd be tough, but not impossible.

Sens Killer: Martin St. Louis
St. Louis had a couple goals for the Lightning, too, and with 22:45 TOI, he played more than any other Tampa skater in the game. He didn't play much SH time (five seconds), but had lots of PP time and five shots on net, and looks like he's definitely ready for the playoffs.

Penance continues: Steve Downie
After fighting with Chris Neil tonight, Downie has had to face Neil twice, Mike Fisher, Matt Carkner, and Jarkko Ruutu (twice, although only one of the Ruutu-Downie fights was while Ruutu was in Ottawa) in paying his price for the well-known hit on Dean McAmmond. I don't know if the fights still have much to do with McAmmond, but I do know that Downie has not done nearly as much fighting against other NHL teams; more than one-fifth of his NHL fights have been against Senators players.

Honourable mentions:
To Filip Kuba, for some solid play and four shots on net. ... To Erik Karlsson, for a team-high five shots on net and a team-high 25:52 TOI. ... Milan Michalek, for some solid play and four shots on goal.

Dishonourable mentions:
To Jesse Winchester, for going 1-for-8 (13 per cent) in the faceoff circle. ... To Cory Clouston, for limiting Francis Lessard to just 2:25 TOI. ... To Chris Neil, for managing to go -2 in just 10:33 TOI while also accumulating 19 PIM (without even beating Downie convincingly) and not managing a shot on net or anything close thereto. ... To Nick Foligno, for following up a great game last time out with an unconvincing effort: 12:00 TOI, no shots and just one hit (so, the exact same stats line as Lessard managed in one-sixth the ice time).

Lottery pick update:
The Senators got no points in the standings tonight, while the Florida Panthers got one in their shootout loss, so the Panthers are two points ahead of Ottawa. The New York Islanders are also two points ahead of Ottawa, and the Isles have a game in hand. The Sens are four points ahead of the Colorado Avalanche, but the Avs have two games in hand; Ottawa could still very easily get to 29 in the league, but right now are solidly in 28 place.

Shot chart:


Game highlights:

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