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Lightning blanked by Ottawa, 4-0

12:57 AM, Feb 15, 2012   |    comments
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TAMPA, Fla. -- Ottawa coach Paul MacLean was happy with the effort of his Senators.

Jason Spezza had three goals and an assist, Craig Anderson made 28 saves, and Ottawa beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-0 on Tuesday.

"We just couldn't score again," said Lightning head coach Guy Boucher.  "We're playing against Ken Dryden when we play Ottawa.  Three games in a row we get wide open nets and wide open opportunities and either he makes a save or we miss the net.  We had more scoring opportunities today than we had in the last two games. It's been a problem for us, scoring against them."

"We know how important these games are," said Lightning captain Vinny Lecavalier.  "For that game to be 1-0 for so long, it just seems like it's right there.  Like I said, their goalie made some really big saves and kept them in there.  It was right there the whole time and we just couldn't bury one."

"I think we played a pretty consistent game from start to finish," MacLean said. "Craig Anderson played real well for us, and I thought our team handled the momentum shifts and responded real well. The Spezza line, obviously the big line in getting the goals."

Spezza made it 2-0 during a power play at 16:32 of the second. The center extended the lead to 3-0 on an in-close goal with 7:23 left in the third, and then completed the hat trick on an empty-net goal.

It was Spezza's fourth career three-goal game, and first since March 20, 2010, at Dallas. In 29 games against Tampa Bay, he has 18 goals and 41 points.

"I think it's the challenge of playing [Steven] Stamkos, [Vincent] Lecavalier, [Martin] St. Louis, you have to be on your game playing against those guys," Spezza said. "The only way to explain it, I guess, is trying to work hard."

Spezza has five goals and five assists during a four-game point streak.

Anderson is 6-1-2 against Tampa Bay. The goalie has beaten the Lightning in all three games between the teams this season, allowing just three goals.

"We came out start to finish and stuck to our game plan," Anderson said. "We executed, did things right and got rewarded with the result."

Erik Karlsson added a goal and an assist for Ottawa, which has gone 2-0-1 in its past three games after an 0-6-1 stretch.

Mathieu Garon made a pad save on Kyle Turris' penalty shot midway through the third for the Lightning, who are 1-3-1 over the past five games. He finished with 23 saves.

"They played hard and we played hard, the shots are equal, and they were able to put it in and we didn't," Tampa Bay coach Guy Boucher said. "This is the worst team for us. It's the most scoring chances with the least goals if you look at the ratio by far."

"To tell you why, it's a mix," Boucher added. "It's a mix of the goaltender playing really good against us, and us missing our golden opportunities."

Anderson turned aside 11 shots, including a pair by St. Louis, in the second. He has two shutouts this season and 18 overall.

"Their goalie played pretty solid," Lecavalier said. "We missed a lot of opportunities."

Karlsson put the Senators up 1-0 just 64 seconds into the game. The defenseman has scored in consecutive games.

Ottawa improved to 9-3-2 in games against Southeast Division teams.

Notes

  • Stamkos, the league leader with 37 goals, had two shots and finished minus-1 for the game.
  • NHL commissioner Gary Bettman attended the game.
  • Tampa Bay LW Ryan Malone was back in the lineup after missing eight games because of an undisclosed upper body injury.
  • The Senators are 14-11-5 on the road this season.
  • The Lightning were without D Matt Gilroy (hand) and D Marc-Andre Bergeron (back).
  • Senators RW Bobby Butler had two assists, giving him five assists in his past three games.

For complete game stats, click here.

CBSSports.com

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