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Senators rally to top Lightning in shootout

by Corey Long

TAMPA -- Kyle Turris and Mika Zibanejad scored in the shootout, and Robin Lehner made 38 saves for the Ottawa Senators in a 3-2 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena on Saturday.

Zibanejad, who scored in the third round of the shootout, said he took a blind shot and it went by Lightning goalie Ben Bishop's glove side.

"I closed my eyes and took a shot," Zibanejad said. "Once I didn't hear any cheers I figured it went in. I wanted to try something new and hopefully hit the puck, so that's about it."

Zibanejad's shootout goal gave the Senators a 2-1 advantage after Nikita Kucherov scored for the Lightning. Steven Stamkos failed to get off a shot in the final round.

"It's a big team win and we battled hard and we battled through a couple of big momentum shifts," Zibanejad said. "We found a way to get the win and I will take it."

Lehner, making his first start of the season, came up with big saves in the second period with the Lightning holding a 1-0 lead. His biggest stop came late in the period when Alex Killorn had a shot from short range after taking a pass from Stamkos, who was behind the net. He also made a save on a wrist shot by Valterri Filppula during a 2-on-1 chance.

"I think we were pesky tonight," Senators coach Paul MacLean said. "We didn't go away."

The Lightning outshot the Senators 18-6 in the period.

"They just came and came and we seemed to be running around a little bit," Lehner said. "But that was all them doing things and creating opportunities. Momentum is a big part of this game and I thought we handled ourselves well when they had it. In the shootout I wanted to be patient with Stamkos because I wasn't with [Kucherov] and he made me look bad. And I waited him out and he lost the puck, so I probably got a little lucky there."

Stamkos felt the Lightning should have been able to take command of the game during that stretch.

"We shouldn't have had to go to a shootout," Stamkos said. "I thought the second period was one of best period of the year. We were all over them. But when you're in a shootout it can go either way."

Erik Karlsson and Mark Stone scored less than two minutes apart for the Senators midway through the third period. Karlsson's goal came on a 2-on-1 break; Alex Chiasson sent a pass to him in the slot and he forced Bishop to commit to the ice before sending a short shot over his glove at 7:34.

Stone scored the go-ahead goal at 9:10 remaining when he took a pass from Turris in front of the net and sent Bishop the wrong way on a deke.

"Robin's play [in the second period] gave us confidence," Karlsson said. "So we came out in the third and wanted to win this game for him. I thought we played much better than our game in Nashville."

Karlsson had a chance to win the game with less than 20 seconds remaining in overtime, but his shot hit the crossbar. The Lightning failed to record a shot on goal in overtime.

The Lightning tied the game with 7:26 remaining in the third when Brett Connolly sent a wrist shot past Lehner from the right circle.

"We did some good things and some things that weren't so good," Connolly said. "We needed to close out the game in the third period. That's what good teams do, they lock down games when they are leading going into the third period. We still got a point and we'll look over some things and rebound before the next game."

Tampa Bay took a 1-0 lead 15:42 into the first period on a power-play goal by Victor Hedman. He took a pass from Stamkos at the point and sent a long slap shot over Lehner's shoulder.

Bishop finished with 32 saves but lost to his former team for the first time in seven starts.

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