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Senators drop 5th straight; Luongo runs shutout streak to 3 @NHLdotcom

The Ottawa Senators' 15-2 start is a distant memory after five straight losses and six in their past seven games. In Vancouver, Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo has to go back a ways, too, to recall the last goal he gave up.

"We're finding ways to lose where we found ways to win before," Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson said after Ottawa's 6-5 home loss to Nashville on Thursday night.

Nashville's Martin Erat scored the winning goal with 22.2 seconds left - 23 seconds after Alfredsson tied it with his 17th goal.

In Vancouver, Luongo made 26 saves for his third straight shutout, setting personal and franchise records while leading the Canucks to a 2-0 victory over Columbus. He hasn't allowed a goal in 193 minutes, 56 seconds.

"It's nice, but I think right now we've got to look at the way we're winning games and the type of hockey we're playing and I think the whole group should feel good about themselves," said Luongo, deflecting credit to his teammates.

"You just got to make sure you're on top of your game and challenging. It helps to know the guys are doing a good job taking away backdoors and slot rebounds and plays and stuff like that. It gives an opportunity to challenge a bit more."

In other NHL games Thursday night, it was: the New York Rangers 4, the New York Islanders 2; Detroit 4, Tampa Bay 2; Toronto 4, Atlanta 2; Boston 4, Florida 3; and Anaheim 4, Calgary 1.

The Senators rallied to tie Nashville four times before Erat's goal sent them to their first five-game losing streak since Oct. 28-Nov. 8, 2006.

"It's tough, but that's part of the game," Alfredsson said. "Right now, I think we're not playing great defensively and we're maybe too cautious at times instead of being a little bit more aggressive in our own end and getting rid of the puck a little bit too early because we just want to get it out. That's what happened on the last goal and that's what happens when you're pressing a little bit."

J.P. Dumont earned his fourth point of the game on the winning goal, stripping the puck from Ottawa's Dean McAmmond and feeding Erat in the slot.

"We don't give up six goals and we don't give up easy goals like that when we fight to come back. It's just out of our character," Ottawa center Jason Spezza said. "It's back to the drawing board and find a way out of this."

Dumont, Dan Hamhuis, Greg de Vries, Ryan Suter and Martin Gelinas also scored for Nashville. Spezza, Dany Heatley, Joe Corvo and Antoine Vermette added goals for Ottawa.

Luongo, who had consecutive shutouts three times with Florida, passed his personal best of 182:37, set with the Panthers in 2004. He also broke the franchise record of 184:20 set by Ken Lockett in April 1975.

"I'm feeling the same as game No. 1. I'm going to repeat it for the 20th time this year," Luongo said. "But sometimes you get the bounces and the score is more indicative of your play and sometimes you get a couple mishaps and the score is not the same."

Defensemen Matttias Ohlund and Lukas Krajicek scored for Vancouver. After losing the first game in November - and losing top defenders Kevin Bieksa and Sami Salo to serious injuries the same night - the Canucks finished the month on a 9-1-2 run.

At New York, Chris Drury had a goal and assist on second-period power plays, and the Rangers finally solved Rick DiPietro and the Islanders.

The Rangers had dropped all three previous meetings with their biggest rival this season, and were 3-8-1 in the past 12 matchups dating to April 11, 2006. DiPietro played in all but one of those games and allowed two goals or fewer eight times.

Jaromir Jagr and Brandon Dubinsky added goals for the Rangers, and Henrik Lundqvist made 22 saves. Miroslav Satan and Mike Comrie scored for the Islanders.

The Islanders are 11-2 against Eastern Conference playoff teams from last season.

At Detroit, Jiri Hudler had a goal and an assist, and Pavel Datsyuk, Tomas Kopecky and Dan Cleary also scored for NHL-leading Detroit.

Chris Osgood made 21 saves for the Red Wings. Brad Richards and Mathieu Darche scored for Tampa Bay. The Lightning have lost six straight.

At Atlanta, Mats Sundin, Andy Wozniewski, Matt Stajan and Alex Steen scored goals, and Nik Antropov had two assists to help Toronto end a four-game losing streak.

Ilya Kovalchuk scored his NHL-leading 20th goal 16:20 into the second, breaking an offensive drought for Atlanta that lasted seven-plus periods and covered 166 minutes.

Tobias Enstrom added a goal for Atlanta.

At Sunrise, Fla., defenseman Zdeno Chara scored two goals to lead Boston to its sixth victory in eight games.

Glen Metropolit and Phil Kessel also scored for Boston, which broke a six-game losing streak to the Panthers dating to Nov. 3, 2005.

Steve Montador, David Booth and Olli Jokinen scored for Florida. The loss snapped Florida's winning streak at a season-best four games.

At Calgary, Alberta, Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 38 saves, and Todd Marchant, Chris Kunitz, Corey Perry and Rob Niedermayer scored for Anaheim.

Giguere, benched in the third period Tuesday night in the Ducks' 4-0 loss in Vancouver, allowed only Alex Tanguay's power-play goal early in the first period.

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