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OTTAWA (AP) - Martin St. Louis spent much of the regular season searching for the form that made him the MVP in 2003-04.
With Tampa Bay trying to avoid falling into an 0-2 hole to start the playoffs, St. Louis found his scoring touch.
The 5-foot-9 forward's second goal of the game put the Lightning ahead to stay in a 4-3 win over the Ottawa Senators on Sunday night, evening the Eastern Conference series at 1-1.
St. Louis was the league's leading scorer in 2003-04 but followed up his Hart Trophy with 31 goals and 61 points this season, good for only fourth the team.
"He's been so much-maligned all year long but tonight his heart was as big as the building, especially in that third period he played," coach John Tortorella said.
St. Louis tied it at 1 in the first and put the Lightning ahead for good 55 seconds after Tampa Bay defenseman Dan Boyle scored to make it 3-3.
"I thought we played good enough, we just needed a little more jam in our play, I felt, from everybody and I thought we got that tonight," St. Louis said. "I think we hated that team a little more tonight and when things like that happen, I think you get a series out of it and that's what we want."
John Grahame made 22 saves for his first win in four career playoff games and Tampa Bay captain Brad Richards had three points, including his first goal of the series to give the Lightning a 2-1 lead in the second period.
"Let's be honest, you don't want to go down two games to the Senators and we just had to give it our all," Boyle said. "We're pretty tired right now but we're going to have 48 hours to rest up. Our top guys did the job tonight. (Richards) had a big goal, Marty got a big goal, that's all you can ask from those guys."
Game 3 will be played Tuesday in Tampa Bay.
Rookie Ray Emery stopped 32 shots for Ottawa, which has yet to take a 2-0 lead in 13 playoff series. The Senators were unable to win Game 2 each of the previous five times they won a playoff series opener.
"I would have loved to get a 2-0 lead, there's no question," said Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson, who's been part of every series Ottawa has played. "We talked about it going into the third and it would have been a big advantage for us, but now we didn't so we've got to move on."
Ottawa's Martin Havlat scored a tying goal for the second game in a row late in the second, then made a sensational play to set up Peter Schaefer's goal which put Ottawa up 3-2 early in the third.
Boyle tied it moments later at 5:24 on a fine individual effort. He spun around in the Senators' zone to set up in the left faceoff circle, beating Emery with a shot over the goalie's right shoulder.
"He cut back in and I came out to take the angle down," Emery said. "When a guy's falling like that it's tough to get a read on the puck. I don't think he really knew where it was going. He just kind of flung it at the net and he made a good shot and it went inside the post. I'd like to play it again but sometimes those find their way inside the net."
Senators center Bryan Smolinski got Ottawa on the board first, scoring 4:51 in when he put a rebound of Anton Volchenkov's shot - that deflected off Senators left wing Vaclav Varada - past defenseman Pavel Kubina into an open right side.
St. Louis tied it at 14:36. Vinnie Prospal intercepted Volchenkov's pass in the Senators' zone and spun around to feed St. Louis, who drove a one-timer over Emery's left shoulder.
Richards made it 2-1 at 7:39 of the second when he scored 42 seconds into a 4-on-4 after Fredrik Modin and Ottawa's Patrick Eaves were sent off for roughing.
The Lightning captain skated backwards as he received a pass from Paul Ranger and caught a fortunate break to go in alone on Emery when Senators defenseman Zdeno Chara stumbled and fell as he started to drop back.
"That might have given me a chance to deke instead of shoot, but I did catch it out of the corner of my eye," Richards said.
Notes: Senators D Wade Redden left the team after his mother died the night before. Cristoph Schubert stepped into the lineup in place of Redden, who missed seven games late in the season to be with his family during his mother's battle with cancer. A moment of silence was observed prior to the national anthems in memory of Pat Redden. She was 57. ... The Lightning didn't lose consecutive games during the 2004 playoffs on their way to winning the Stanley Cup. ... Ottawa C Chris Kelly left in the third with an undisclosed upper body injury and didn't return. ... Senators G Dominik Hasek watched the game in the dressing room. Hasek, sidelined indefinitely by a groin injury since the Olympics, stood behind backup Mike Morrison at the end of the bench during Friday's game.
|Bryan Smolinski Wrist shot - ASST: Vaclav Varada , Anton Volchenkov|
1 - 0 OTT
|Martin St Louis Slapshot - ASST: Vinny Prospal|
1 - 1 Tie
|Brad Richards Wrist shot - ASST: Paul Ranger|
2 - 1 TBL
|PPG - Martin Havlat Snap shot - ASST: Dany Heatley , Jason Spezza|
2 - 2 Tie
|Peter Schaefer Wrist shot - ASST: Martin Havlat , Mike Fisher|
3 - 2 OTT
|Dan Boyle Snap shot - ASST: Brad Richards , Paul Ranger|
3 - 3 Tie
|Martin St Louis Wrist shot - ASST: Dimitri Afanasenkov , Brad Richards|
4 - 3 TBL
|Chris Dingman Hooking against Patrick Eaves|
|Brian Pothier Tripping against Ryan Craig|
|Patrick Eaves Roughing against Freddy Modin|
|Freddy Modin Roughing against Patrick Eaves|
|Daniel Alfredsson Hooking against Darryl Sydor|
|Freddy Modin Roughing against Antoine Vermette|
|Martin St Louis Tripping against Mike Fisher|
|Brad Richards Interference against Patrick Eaves|
|Zdeno Chara Tripping against Dimitri Afanasenkov|