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Stamkos scores twice, Lightning top Senators

by Corey Long /

TAMPA -- Steven Stamkos scored two goals when the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Ottawa Senators 5-2 at Amalie Arena on Sunday.

Nikita Nesterov and Alex Killorn also scored for the Lightning (17-14-3), who have won three of their past four games.

"It's one game after a tough loss, but it's a good stretch and something that we need to continue to do," Stamkos said. "If you look back the last 10-12 games we've been pretty good. We need to just continue to play this way."

Zack Smith and Erik Karlsson scored for Ottawa (17-12-5), who lost to the Lightning for the second time in the past 10 days.

"I thought the work ethic was definitely there tonight," Smith said. "We worked our tail off and that's what we tried to do when we went down a couple [defensemen].

The Senators, who lost their fourth straight road game, played most of the game without defenseman Mark Borowiecki after a game misconduct penalty for interfering with Lightning center Brian Boyle, and Cody Ceci, who left the game in the first period after five shifts.

Karlsson logged 36:34 of ice time and Patrick Wiercioch had 29:14 to try to make up the difference.

"Just tough one to swallow, when you get down short bodies as early as we did, especially on defense, makes it a tougher game to play," Senators goalie Andrew Hammond said. "We had a lot of guys playing more minutes than they are used to and it just makes it really hard to sustain for 60 minutes. At the end of the day we came up short and they played well too."

Mike Angelidis scored his first goal in nearly four years. It came at 2:45 of the second period and gave the Lightning a 3-1 lead. Mike Blunden started the sequence with a shot on goal and a scrum started around Hammond. Blunden and Angelidis each took pokes at the loose puck with Angelidis slipping it under Hammond's pads. His only other goal was in his first NHL game, Jan. 24, 2012.

"Every chance you get in front of the net you have to take advantage of it," Angelidis said. "I was going to the net trying to find pucks and my goal is to get pucks in the net so it felt good. It was a big game we've got six games at home and we needed this."

Karlsson's goal at 14:28 of the second period pulled the Senators to within one at 3-2. The Senators captain took control of the puck at the point and sent a slap shot past Ben Bishop high on the stick side.

The Lightning had an important penalty kill with 5:05 remaining in regulation holding a 3-2 lead, after Vladislav Namestnikov was whistled for high sticking. Killorn and Stamkos added empty-net goals after the penalty kill to close out the game.

Tampa Bay held Ottawa to 0-for-5 on the power play.

"It was nice to get a couple of goals on power play and have a strong [penalty kill]," Lightning forward Valtteri Filppula said. "They have a good power play and we just a good job on it. It's been tough this year to get win so hopefully this homestand we'll get wins and start to feel better about ourselves."

Stamkos' first goal of the game came on the power play at 7:16 in the first period with Smith off for tripping. Nikita Kucherov took the puck from the top of the circle into the slot and sent a pass to Stamkos who sent the one-timer past Hammond.

"I expected us to come out strong," Stamkos said. "It's nice to see special teams come through because that costs us the game in Washington. The [call-ups] have played great. Big goal from [Angelidis]. It's kind of scary when you walk in the room and see eight guys lined up that are injured but the guys that have come in have been instrumental to our success."

Smith scored the game's first goal while on a penalty kill, sending a backhand shot past Bishop at 4:20 in the first period after a pass from Curtis Lazar set up a one-on-one.

"It was tough, we tried to rally but too many mistakes tonight, too many mistakes and maybe trying to do a little too much lead to many of their goals," Smith said. "It's tough to point your finger at one thing. Credit to our [defense], it's tough playing with just four guys."

Nesterov tied the game on a power-play goal at 5:23 in the first with a slap shot from the point that beat Hammond on the near post.

"It was a plus for us to come out and play the way we did," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "Our special teams have been costing us games. ...and it looked a little bleak giving up a [shorthanded goal] right away. But to come back and score on a power play was a big boost for us."

Hammond finished with 30 saves, including a stop on a penalty shot by Valtteri Filppula in the third period.

"We had plenty of time to get an equalizer but we couldn't find the back of the net," Hammond said. "When it gets to 3-2. try everything in your power to keep it at one goal and hope that you're able to get the one to tie it up. Tonight was one of the night we couldn't find it."

Bishop had 23 saves and improved his career record against Ottawa to 8-0-3.

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