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Stanley Cup Final

Sens jump out to big lead but have to hold on late as Ottawa beats Tampa Bay 5-3

Saturday, 03.23.2013 / 5:05 PM / News

The Canadian Press

OTTAWA - The Ottawa Senators scored four times in the first period Saturday before having to hold on for a frantic 5-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Lighting.

Jakob Silfverberg, Eric Gryba, Guillaume Latendresse and Daniel Alfredsson scored during a 7:01 span of the opening period as Ottawa (17-9-6) jumped out to a 4-0 lead.

Robin Lehner made 29 saves to get the win, while Marc Methot, who missed last game with a knee injury, and Kyle Turris each added two assists.

Tyler Johnson scored twice in the third period for Tampa Bay (13-17-1) before Teddy Purcell made it 4-3 with just under two minutes to go in regulation.

But with the Lightning pressing for the tie late, Alfredsson added his second of the game into an empty net to seal the Ottawa victory.

Mathieu Garon was yanked from the Tampa Bay goal during a dismal first period where he stopped just eight of 11 shot. Cedrick Desjardins was strong in relief, making 19 saves the rest of the way.

The Senators' first-period barrage started when Silfverberg tipped home a Methot pass after a terrible giveaway by Tampa Bay defenceman Victor Hedman at 12:49 and was followed up just 1:40 later when Gryba scored the first of his NHL off a feed from Turris.

Latendresse scored Ottawa's third goal on a great display of hand-eye co-ordination at 17:01 to chase Garon and Alfredsson made it 4-0 with 10 seconds left in the period with a goal on the power play.

Lehner, who was aided by two shots off the post that stayed out, stopped Dana Tyrell on a second-period breakaway as Ottawa started to sit back and allow the Lightning time and space.

Johnson tipped a shot past Lehner at 11:37 of the third and added his second at 13:53 to cut the Ottawa lead to two.

Purcell's goal that made it 4-3 raised the tension at Scotiabank Place, but with Desjardins on the bench for the extra attacker, Alfredsson put the game to bed into the empty net.

Notes: Brian Lee, Marc-Andre Bergeron and Pierre-Cedric Labrie were scratched for the Lightning. Jim O'Brien, Kaspars Daugavins and Andre Benoit sat out for the Senators. ... With his first-period assist Sergei Gonchar set a Senators' club record with assists in 10 straight games. It is also the longest streak in the NHL this season. ... B.J. Crombeen added to his league lead in major penalties with two fights Saturday. He now has 12 major penalties. ... Cory Conacher is fourth in Lightning scoring this year and first among all NHL rookies with 22 points.

It means a lot to us, we're very excited. We're looking to continue to build on [our] top core talent of young players. It's just a great opportunity for us to really build high.

— Panthers vice president of hockey operations Travis Viola after Florida won the No. 1 pick in the NHL Draft Lottery