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Kucherov, Bishop help Lightning defeat Senators

by Corey Long

TAMPA -- Nikita Kucherov scored two goals, and Ben Bishop made 30 saves to help the Tampa Bay Lightning defeat the Ottawa Senators 4-1 at Amalie Arena on Thursday.

Valtteri Filppula and J.T. Brown scored for the Lightning (14-12-3), who have won three of four.

Cody Ceci scored for the Senators (15-9-5), who are 1-2-0 on a four-game road trip.

"You can't let opportunities like this slip by, especially against teams that you are looking up to in the standings," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "It wasn't a perfect work of art, but we got two points."

Kucherov gave the Lightning a 1-0 lead with eight seconds remaining in the first period. Tampa Bay had a two-man advantage after Ottawa defensemen Chris Wideman and Mark Borowiecki were called for interference and hooking at 18:44. Kucherov took a feed from Steven Stamkos in front of the net and sent a slap shot past Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson high on the glove side.

"Anytime you score on the power play, it's a lift," Cooper said. "The 5-on-3, those are weird, you almost feel like you have to score on them. And when we had the 5-on-3 (Sunday at the Los Angeles Kings), we didn't score, it's kind of deflating, but you get one here all of a sudden your team picks up."

The Lightning made it 2-0 25 seconds into the third period with Filppula's third goal of the season. He was released from the penalty box and immediately found himself on an odd-man rush. J.T. Brown took a shot that Anderson deflected; Filppula put the rebound into an open net.

Kucherov scored off a rebound of his shot at 8:33 of the third period. Anderson made the save, and Kucherov poked it past Wideman, who was trying to help Anderson block the open side of the net.

"I was just trying to shoot it and the guy laid down there and the puck was under him," Kucherov said. "I just got lucky a little bit. Any shot is a good shot, and that's what I was trying to do."

Ceci made it 3-1 at 12:06 of the third period with his third goal of the season. Bobby Ryan found Ceci open in the slot on a delayed penalty and his wrist shot beat Bishop on the far post.

"We had some good chances early and we got kind of frustrated with all the chances we had in the first and second period and none of them seemed to go in the net," Ceci said. "We had a lot of offensive time and lots of chances. We tried to look through the seams (of Bishop) too much instead of throwing [pucks] at his feet and having guys there."

Brown scored an empty-net goal with 14 seconds remaining.

Anderson made 26 saves for the Senators, who finish their road trip against the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday.

"We had a rough start there, they had a 5-on-3 early in the game and capitalized off of it," Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson said. "I think we were playing well with them but just couldn't find ways to get the quality chances to score goals. We didn't throw enough pucks in toward their net when we had the zone time."

Ryan Callahan had two assists for the Lightning, who play the Washington Capitals on Saturday.

"It was a little bit of a tough start for us, which happens sometimes coming after a road trip, but Bishop stood tall for us," Callahan said. "Then we found our legs, we found our game, and we played pretty well. We knew that they had skill and they would get opportunities, but we just tried to limit them. I thought our penalty kill responded well."

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