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Lightning host Senators less than a week after deal

by Brian Hunter

SENATORS (19-13-6) at LIGHTNING (16-20-2)


Last 10: Ottawa 5-5-0; Tampa Bay 4-5-1

Season series: Third and final meeting of the regular season. Each team has won once on its home ice. If Ben Bishop starts for Tampa Bay, he'll be the fourth goalie the Lightning have used against the Senators this season, joining Anders Lindback, Mathieu Garon and Cedrick Desjardins. Ironically, Bishop took the loss for Ottawa in the Jan. 25 meeting between these teams.

Big story: On the surface, it's the Lightning and Senators meeting for the first time since swinging a Bishop for Cory Conacher trade less than a week earlier. But while fans at the Tampa Bay Times Forum welcome back Conacher in a different jersey, Ottawa will be trying to snap a four-game losing streak that could leave them fighting for a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs if it continues to grow.

Team Scope:

Senators: In his second game with Ottawa, it was Conacher opening the scoring in Florida on Sunday, scoring the 10th goal of his impressive rookie season. The Senators would get stymied by Panthers goalie Scott Clemmensen for the remainder of the night, however. Despite taking 41 shots, they managed just the one goal off Conacher's stick. Craig Anderson faced a light workload in his first start since Feb. 21, but his former team victimized him on goals by Marcel Goc and Dmitry Kulikov in a 2-1 defeat.

"I thought we played great really the whole night," coach Paul MacLean said. "I thought we dominated the game for the most part but we got goalied. We've done that to other teams in the past. For us, the good sign is we played hard for the 60 minutes and we created opportunities. We just have to find a way to get more pucks on to the net on our power play and compete for the opportunity to score a little more than we have."

Lightning: A brief surge following the introduction of Jon Cooper as Tampa Bay's new coach has given way to a two-game losing streak, and now the Lightning are back down to 14th in the Eastern Conference with just 10 games remaining. They could have closed the gap in the Southeast Division to just four points on Sunday, but instead the Capitals moved eight points in front of them as Alex Ovechkin netted two more goals. Vincent Lecavalier scored a power-play goal and set up Alex Killorn's tally for a 2-1 lead, but the Lightning went on to a 4-2 loss.

"Losses like these are tough to swallow," Killorn told the Tampa Bay Times, "but until we're mathematically out of it, we're going to play as hard as we can."

Who's hot: Jakob Silfverberg and Mika Zibanejad set up Conacher's goal Sunday. Silfverberg has four goals and five assists in the past 10 games for the Senators, while Zibanejad has nine assists in the past eight games. … Matt Carle has one goal and six assists during a five-game points streak for the Lightning. Killorn has three goals and two assists in the past five games.

Injury report: Ottawa forward Mike Hoffman (upper body) is day-to-day. Defensemen Jared Cowen (hip) and Erik Karlsson (Achilles) and forwards Jason Spezza (back) and Milan Michalek (knee) are on injured reserve. … Tampa Bay defenseman Victor Hedman (lower body) is day-to-day. Lindback (ankle) is on injured reserve along with forwards Ryan Malone (shoulder) and Pierre-Cedric Labrie (upper body).

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