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Purcell, Callahan lift Lightning past Senators

by Sean Farrell

OTTAWA -- The Tampa Bay Lightning keep scoring clutch goals and climbing up the Atlantic Division standings.

Ryan Callahan's power-play goal in the third period proved to be the game-winner as Tampa Bay held on to extend its winning streak to five games with a 5-4 victory against the Ottawa Senators on Thursday.

Tampa Bay moved into sole possession of second place in the Atlantic Division with its win in Ottawa and the Montreal Canadiens' 3-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Lightning and Canadiens entered Thursday tied for second.

Eric Brewer beat Senators goalie Robin Lehner with a backhand under the crossbar at 3:48 of the third to put the Lightning ahead 4-3. The goal was Brewer's first in 95 games, dating to Feb. 24, 2013, and it gave Tampa Bay its fourth lead in a seesaw game.

Callahan put the Lightning up 5-3 at 11:58 before Milan Michalek scored at 17:08 to draw the Senators within one.

Tampa Bay's Teddy Purcell scored twice in the first, including his first goal in 20 games 23 seconds after the opening faceoff. Lightning center Valtteri Filppula tied a career high for goals with his 23rd on a power play in the second.

"We keep getting two points, so they're picture-perfect (wins) to me," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "That game was 3-3 going into the third, and we closed out the game, so I don't know, you can look at it however you like. That's two more points than we had two-and-a-half hours ago; we'll take it."

Ben Bishop made 27 saves in his seventh start in a row for the Lightning, who matched their longest winning streak of the season, set from Dec. 15-23, despite surrendering 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 leads to the Senators.

"You'd like to win a 1-0 game, but as long as we're winning, 5-4, it doesn't matter at this point," Bishop said. "All you want are the points, and that's all we need right now."

Ales Hemsky scored a dazzling goal at 17:32 of the second to draw Ottawa even for the third time at 3-3. The Senators' right wing dragged the puck between his legs from behind with the toe of his blade as he danced past Lightning defenseman Radko Gudas. He then cut around defenseman Matthew Carle as he moved to his forehand to beat Bishop for his 11th goal.

"He made a nice play, and then I thought Matty was coming back," Bishop said. "I thought Matty was going to cut him off, so I was just going to play the backhand, and he kind of shielded Matty, and I'm looking at it in my peripheral (vision) and I kind of see Matty coming back, so it was kind of maybe a misread by me."

The loss took the luster off highlight-reel play for Hemsky.

"It really doesn't matter if you lose," he said.

Clarke MacArthur scored a shorthanded goal and Erik Karlsson scored on a power play as Ottawa tied the game twice in the first period.

Robin Lehner stopped 19 of 24 shots in his fourth straight start since Craig Anderson was sidelined by an upper-body injury. Lehner has allowed 18 goals in his past four games.

The Senators lost their third in a row and are 0-3-2 in their past five games. They are falling out of the race for the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the Eastern Conference, the result of a 2-7-2 skid. Ottawa is in 12th place with 69 points.

Senators coach Paul MacLean referred to the game as "Groundhog Day."

"We've got to come back (Friday) again and work at it," MacLean said. "Obviously, we need to continue to work at it, and that's what we need to do. We need to work at it to get better and better at it, and we can't get frustrated with it; we've just got to continue to work at it."

Victor Hedman and Tyler Johnson each assisted on both goals by Purcell, who remained on center Steven Stamkos' line. Purcell moved there in the Lightning's 5-3 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday after Alex Killorn was given a boarding major and a game misconduct for his hit from behind on Maple Leafs defenseman Paul Ranger.

"You put extra pressure on yourself as an athlete to help," Purcell said. "It's always a little bit easier when your team is winning, but when you're getting chances and sometimes you're holding your stick a little bit tight and stuff, but our line's had some good looks the past few games, and hopefully we can keep it going."

Filppula, who turned 30 on Thursday, extended his point streak to seven games when he pounced on a rebound in the goalmouth to make it 3-2 at 5:43 of the second after Lehner got his glove on Ondrej Palat's shot.

Filppula has three goals and eight assists during his streak. He scored 23 goals for the Detroit Red Wings in 2011-12.

MacArthur drew Ottawa even at 1-1 with a shorthanded goal on a breakaway at 10:45. Senators center Kyle Turris stripped the puck off Lightning defenseman Sami Salo along the boards in the neutral zone and fed the puck to MacArthur, who drove in and beat Bishop with a shot between the legs for his 21st goal, tying his career high.

MacArthur scored 21 goals for the Maple Leafs in 2010-11.

Karlsson tied it at 2-2 with his 18th goal at 13:07, three seconds after Nate Thompson was called for tripping. Ottawa captain Jason Spezza won a faceoff in the right circle and drew the puck back to Mike Hoffman, who set up Karlsson.

The goal extended Karlsson's point streak to five games.

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