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Former Lightning forward shines, Bolts lackluster in defeat against Ottawa

Wayne Masut | The Scrum Sports

Continuing their current road trip, the Tampa Bay Lightning looked to keep the offence rolling after dominating the Toronto Maple Leafs Thursday night. However, the Ottawa Senators had different plans in store for the Bolts. A superb effort from the Senators, combined with a lackluster one from the Lightning, led to a tough afternoon for Tampa Bay.

Scrappy, sloppy play leads to a scoreless first

Things got chippy five minutes into the game as a fight broke out between Yanni Gourde and Dylan DeMelo after a hit that Gourde landed on Senators defenseman Mark Borowiecki. You knew the game was going to be a battle after that scrap, and indeed it was. The Lightning’s penalty kill was hard at work in the first period, having to deal with three Senators power plays. Despite the opportunities, Ottawa could not get a goal on any of their power play chances. The Lightning struggled on offense as well, producing only five shots on goal in a very lackluster first period.

Penalty kill back at work

The Senators wasted no time getting the game rolling in the second period by creating a couple of scoring chances in the opening minutes. The Bolts would eventually get their shot at the power play 2:37 into the second period when Erik Brannstrom was called for interference againt Pat Maroon. However, Ottawa’s penalty kill made quick work of the Lightning power play and the game remained scoreless. The Senators would have a couple more chances to score with the man-advantage, but still could not find the back of the net.

Ottawa comes alive

A fight would break out again 9:15 into the second period when Brayden Point and Jean-Gabriel Pageau exchanged punches. With both benches fired up, both players went to the box for fighting. The Senators eventually opened up the scoring with 6:16 left in the second, thanks to Colin White. White snapped a shot passed Curtis McElhinney for his first of the season.

The Bolts wasted no time evening up the score thanks to a tip-in by Ondrej Palat. Palat drove to the net, redirecting Tyler Johnson’s pass into the net 37 seconds after White’s goal. The Senators would sneak in another goal with less than 30 seconds left in the period when Pageau fired a wrist shot past McElhinney. In two starts this season, McElhinney’s play has been excellent despite a lackluster effort in front of him. Tampa Bay has been outshot 77-34 when McElhinney has been in net.

Ottawa finds late spark to seal the victory

The third period started off with both teams giving up the puck, but neither team was able to captivate off the turnovers. After multiple attempts at creating scoring chances, the Lightning finally tied the game.

Luke Witkowski scored 11:04 in the 3rd period to tie it up 2-2. Both teams continued to be dominant on the defensive side of the puck while the offense remained silent.

With just a little over three minutes left in the game, a familiar face would give the Sens the goal they needed to get the win at home. Newly acquired forward (and ex-Lightning) forward Vladislav Namestnikov gave the Senators a 3-2 lead after sending a nice feed from Connor Brown into the net off a turnover by Braydon Coburn. Namestnkov would then add an empty net goal with 22 seconds left in the game to cap off an impressive 4-2 victory for the Senators and a lackluster afternoon for the Bolts.

The Lightning return to action on Tuesday when they take on the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre. The puck drops at 7 pm on NBCSN.

Three Stars of the Game

1st Star: Vladislav Namestnikov – Two goals, including the game-winner, and one assist.

2nd Star: Jean-Gabriel Pageau – One goal and one assist.

3rd Star: Colin White – One goal and four shots on goal.

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