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Victor Hedman scores in OT, Lightning defeat Senators

Tampa Bay wins fourth straight, moves into tie for final playoff spot

by Chris Stevenson / NHL.com Correspondent

OTTAWA -- Victor Hedman scored with 55 seconds left in overtime to give the Tampa Bay Lightning their fourth win in a row, 2-1 against the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre on Tuesday.

Brayden Point scored, and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 31 saves for the Lightning (34-26-9), who have a six-game point streak (5-0-1) and are tied with the New York Islanders for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the Eastern Conference.

Six weeks ago, Tampa Bay was in last place in the Eastern Conference.

 

WATCH: All Lightning vs. Senators highlights

 

"What's really impressed me is everybody has come together as a group and there's just kind of that never-die attitude going on in there," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "Everybody is contributing, whether it's a guy winning a faceoff or blocking a shot or scoring a big goal. A lot of those guys that have been down that road with us the last couple years, it's almost like they are going to lead the way, and the new guys coming up aren't going to let them down. It's kind of working for us."

Video: TBL@OTT: Point quickly adjusts to net a rebound

Tommy Wingels scored, and Mike Condon made 35 saves for the Senators (39-22-7), who lost for the first time in seven games. Ottawa is one point behind the Montreal Canadiens for first place in the Atlantic Division. The Senators have two games in hand.

Point scored his third goal in two games to make it 1-0 at 3:05 of the first period, putting in a rebound with a backhand from a sharp angle.

Wingels tied the game 1-1 at 2:35 of the second period when a clearing attempt by Lightning defenseman Braydon Coburn hit an official's skate and the puck bounced to Wingels at the top of the right faceoff circle.

Video: TBL@OTT: Wingels blisters a shot past Vasilevskiy

 
Goal of the game

Hedman scored on a 2-on-1 with Ondrej Palat, redirecting Palat's precise pass by Condon. "I just had to have my stick on the ice and I knew he was going to find me one way or the other, or he was going to shoot it, but I was ready in case he was going to pass it," Hedman said. "It was a tremendous pass and it was probably the easiest goal of the year for me."

Video: TBL@OTT: Hedman drills home OT winner from Palat

 
Save of the game

At 8:14 of the third period, Tampa Bay's Nikita Kucherov was alone in front to take a pass from Palat for a point-blank chance, but Condon got his right pad on the shot. "I was just trying to stick a leg out, desperation style," Condon said. "Sometimes you get 'em, sometimes you don't. Tonight, I was fortunate to get those, but not the outcome that we wanted."

Video: TBL@OTT: Condon swings pad across to rob Kucherov

 
Highlight of the game

Condon made a flurry of difficult saves midway through the third period. He stopped a shot by J.T. Brown from the right faceoff dot at 9:58, denied Greg McKegg on the rebound, and got his left toe on a shot by Gabriel Dumont during a scramble in the crease. Senators defenseman Fredrik Claesson dove through the crease to clear a loose puck off the goal line as Brown tried for it.

Video: TBL@OTT: Condon robs Dumont with an outstanding save

 
Unsung performance of the game

Lightning rookie forward Adam Erne had three shots on goal and seven hits in 8:30.

 
They said it

"I don't know if you can explain that feeling. We've really got something going on right now, and it's really fun to be a part of. We just keep finding ways to win." -- Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman

 

"We were coming off two days rest, and they were on a back-to-back. At the same time, this time of year when you're playing back-to-backs, maybe you're energy level is not there, but you're feeling the puck a bit more and not as rusty. They looked that way tonight. They had their best game in the third period, and I don't think we quite matched it." -- Senators forward Zack Smith

 

"We tried to play run-and-gun with a team that's much better than us at that. They've got more skill than us. [Goalie Mike] Condon saved us there and got us a point." -- Senators coach Guy Boucher

 
Need to know

Cooper said after the game there is no timetable for the return of Lightning forward Steven Stamkos, who has been out four months with a knee injury. "I always joke it was 4-6 months, but now we've passed the four months, so he's coming back in the next two. It's encouraging to watch him out there skating," Cooper said. ... Tampa Bay forward Vladislav Namestnikov did not play after aggravating a lower-body injury Monday in a 3-2 win at the New York Rangers. … Senators goaltender Craig Anderson (lower body) did not dress, and forward Mark Stone (lower body) did not play. Stone is expected to miss at least two more games. ... Forwards Kyle Turris and Bobby Ryan each returned to the Ottawa lineup. Turris missed three games with a finger injury, and Ryan missed 11 with a broken finger.

 
What's next

Lightning: Host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday (7:30 p.m. ET; SUN, SNO, NHL.TV)

Senators: Host the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday (7:30 p.m. ET; RDS, TSN5, CSN-CH, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Hedman nets OT winner to spark Lightning past Sens

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