Now that the Tampa Bay Lightning have ended a lengthy losing streak, they can turn their focus to generating positive momentum.
Seeking back-to-back victories for the first time in almost two months, the Lightning conclude a four-game road trip against the reeling Ottawa Senators on Saturday night.
Tampa Bay (7-14-8) finished tied with Los Angeles with a league-worst 71 points last season, and has begun 2008-09 in similar fashion, as their 22 points are tied with Atlanta and the New York Islanders at the bottom of the NHL.
The Lightning were outscored 37-22 during a nine-game losing streak (0-7-2), which they finally ended Thursday at Montreal. Martin St. Louis scored twice and Vincent Lecavalier added a goal and an assist to back a 31-save effort from Olaf Kolzig for a 3-1 victory.
It was Tampa Bay's first win since Nov. 21 against Nashville, and its first road victory since Nov. 8 at Philadelphia. The Lightning improved to 2-7-4 under coach Rick Tocchet, who replaced the fired Barry Melrose on Nov. 14 following a 5-7-4 start.
"We deserved more than we've been getting lately," St. Louis, who has five goals and three assists during a six-game point streak, told the Lightning's official Web site. "(Thursday night), we fell behind but fought back."
Tampa Bay now aims to secure consecutive victories for the first time since a three-game streak from Oct. 28-Nov. 1, which was capped by a 3-2 shootout win at home against Ottawa (10-12-5).
St. Louis has seven goals and 24 points in 29 career contests versus the Senators, while Lecavalier - with 15 of his team-high 26 points coming over the last 13 games - has 17 goals and 28 points in 34 lifetime matchups.
Ottawa sits last in the Northeast Division, and has lost three straight (0-2-1) following a 4-1-0 stretch. The Senators' usually reliable defense has allowed 11 goals during the slide.
The Senators suffered through their worst defensive performance of the skid in a 5-1 loss at Washington on Friday night, and the offense didn't come close to picking up the slack. Only rookie Jesse Winchester's goal at 17:37 of the final period kept Ottawa from a second straight shutout defeat after falling 2-0 at Chicago on Wednesday.
"We need to get going," Senators right wing Daniel Alfredsson said. "The last two games haven't been good at all. It's a bad loss for us."
Alfredsson and fellow first-line forwards Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza might be able to regroup versus Tampa Bay.
Alfredsson has 19 goals and 49 points in 44 career contests against the Lightning, while Heatley - leading Ottawa with 14 goals and 28 points - has 12 goals and 28 points in 24 matchups. Spezza has eight goals and 23 points in 17 games versus Tampa Bay.