TAMPA, Fla. (AP) _ The way the Ottawa Senators and Tampa Bay Lightning were
going, it figured the last shot would decide the game.
``It's two good teams that know how to battle right at the end,'' Tampa
Bay's Dave Andreychuk said after Chris Phillips scored from just inside the
blue line Monday night to give the Senators a 5-4 overtime victory over the
Eastern Conference leaders.
``We showed good character by coming back. But they also did, too. That's
the intensity level both teams want going into the playoffs. We've been looking
for that, and in our last few games we've been able to get that. It's a good
The victory gave Ottawa a sweep of the season series. The Senators are
13-2-1 against Tampa Bay the past four years, and outscored the Southeast
Division champions 17-9 in four games this season.
The Lightning are 8-2-2 against the second, third and fourth-place teams in
the East. They're also at a loss to explain their futility against No. 5
Ottawa, which moved within one point of Toronto and Boston _ the co-leaders in
the Northeast Division.
``We got a point, but it's still a loss,'' Tampa Bay's Tim Taylor said.
``Our goals aren't the Eastern Conference anymore. Our goals are the
Presidents' Trophy and it looks with just getting a point tonight we won't be
able to do it now.''
Tampa Bay began the night tied with Detroit for the overall NHL points lead.
The Red Wings beat Minnesota 5-3 and pulled one point ahead of the Lightning
with 105. Detroit has three games remaining, and Tampa Bay has two.
``They're a great hockey team,'' Ottawa's Brian Pothier said of the
Lightning. ``Top to bottom, the team is super talented. They've got all the
tools. It's great to go out and compete hard against a team like that.''
Daniel Alfredsson became the Senators' career goals leader in the third
period and got an assist on the winner after stealing the puck from defenseman
Darryl Sydor along the boards.
Ottawa's four-time All-Star scored his 219th goal to pass Alexei Yashin on
the Senators' career list early in the third. He then fed Phillips, who had a
clear shot at Nikolai Khabibulin and slipped the puck to the left of the Tampa
``He made a great pass. I had a lot of time,'' Phillips said. ``Their player
was coming out and only about halfway and (Bryan) Smolinski was right in front
of the net so it made it really tough for Khabibulin to see it. I watched it go
straight in the corner.''
Each team scored twice in the last 3:12 of the third period with Dave
Andreychuk getting both of Tampa Bay's tallies, including the goal that made it
4-4 with just 27.9 seconds left in regulation.
Dan Boyle also scored in the third, wiping out a 2-1 lead the Senators took
on Alfredsson's goal just 29 seconds into the period.
Marian Hossa, Mike Fisher, and Martin Havlat also scored for Ottawa. Cory
Stillman had Tampa Bay's other goal, scoring on a wrist shot from the right
circle in the opening period.
Backup Martin Prusek made 24 saves for Ottawa to improve to 3-0 this season
against Tampa Bay. Regular starter Patrick Lalime didn't play because of a
sprained left knee. He is not expected back until at least this weekend.
``I think we showed a lot of determination to come back and not give up, not
to get down, continue to play hard even though this place was just rocking,''
Pothier said. ``It's a fun time. It was like a playoff atmosphere.''