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Vasilevskiy gets call for Lightning against Senators

Goalie to spell starter Bishop in first of back-to-back set

by Chris Stevenson / NHL.com Correspondent

LIGHTNING (29-18-4) at SENATORS (24-23-6)

TV: 7:30 p.m. ET; SUN, RDS, TSN5, NHL.TV

OTTAWA -- The Tampa Bay Lightning, who have won 10 of their past 11 games, will start backup goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy against the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre on Monday.

With the Lightning facing a back-to-back situation with a game against the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday, No. 1 goaltender Ben Bishop, a former Senator who is 8-3-0 against his former teammates, will get the night off. 

Vasilevskiy is 8-4-0 with a 2.61 goals-against average and .914 save percentage, and has four of the Lightning's 10 victories during their hot streak. 

"You realize the situation with the back-to-backs. That's [the coach's] decision, not mine," Bishop said. 

Bishop, one of a handful of Lightning players at Canadian Tire Centre on Monday for their optional skate, said their good play of late has been because of a consistent lineup. 

"We had some injuries there and to now get everybody back on a consistent basis … before the lines were changing every night," Bishop said. "Guys were playing with different guys. Now we've had the same lineup for 10, 15 games in a row and it's made a big difference. 

"Guys are more comfortable and you can see the chemistry developing between players. Guys who were hurt are getting in better shape. It's all kind of coming together right now." 

The Lightning are tied for second place with the Boston Bruins in the Atlantic Division with 62 points. 

The Senators, sixth in the Atlantic with 54 points and five points out of the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference, ended a three-game losing streak with a 6-1 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday. 

The Senators received strong play from their new second line of Jean-Gabriel Pageau between Zack Smith and Mark Stone, and the NHL's 30th ranked penalty kill went 4-for-4 against the Maple Leafs. 

Top center Kyle Turris returned for that game, but Senators coach Dave Cameron has decided to keep Pageau, normally a third-line center, on the second line. Mika Zibanejad has been dropped to the third line. 

Cameron said he isn't surprised by Pageau's good play lately. 

"No, because he's always been real consistent," he said. "He's a coach's delight. You put him on and you know what you're getting. When you have that type of player, he's the guy who's always trending upward. I'm not surprised is what I'm trying to say." 

After going through a stretch where he had one goal in 14 games, Stone has scored in three straight. 

The line has combined for five goals and eight assists in the past three games. 

"I've had chemistry with [Pageau] for a while," Stone said. "We played together growing up through the minors, I've played with [Smith] this year and had some success with [Turris]. It's pretty easy. We're playing a pretty fast game and those guys skate really well. We're moving the puck well right now. 

"Those guys have been really hounding pucks in the corners and been able to steal the odd puck throughout the game." 

The penalty kill had a good night against the Maple Leafs thanks to a change in philosophy, Senators defenseman Mark Borowiecki said. 

"We went back to something we used more of last year a little bit, a little more aggressive, aggressive within our positions, though, not just running around for the sake of running around," he said. 

"It's something as players we really wanted to address. It was sort of one of the things we had brought up as player in meetings. The coaches had been thinking about changing it, too, so I think it was the right time. 

Goalie Craig Anderson will start for the Senators. 

Here are the projected lineups: 

LIGHTNING 

Ondrej Palat - Vladislav Namestnikov - Steven Stamkos  

Alex Killorn - Tyler Johnson - Nikita Kucherov  

J.T. Brown - Valtteri Filppula - Ryan Callahan  

Cedric Paquette - Brian Boyle - Erik Condra  

Victor Hedman - Anton Stralman  

Jason Garrison - Andrej Sustr  

Nikita Nesterov - Braydon Colburn 

Andrei Vasilevskiy  

Ben Bishop 

Scratched: Jonathan Marchessault, Matthew Carle  

Injured: Mattias Ohlund (knee), Joel Vermin (hand) 

SENATORS 

Mike Hoffman - Kyle Turris - Bobby Ryan  

Zack Smith - Jean-Gabriel Pageau - Mark Stone 

Shane Prince - Mika Zibanejad - Alex Chiasson  

Ryan Dzingel - Curtis Lazar - Chris Neil  

Marc Methot - Erik Karlsson  

Patrick Wiercioch - Cody Ceci  

Mark Borowiecki - Chris Wideman  

Craig Anderson 

Andrew Hammond  

Scratched: Jared Cowen, Nick Paul 

Injured: Chris Phillips (back), Clarke MacArthur (concussion), Milan Michalek (broken finger), David Dziurzynski (undisclosed) 

Status report: Cameron said MacArthur, out since Oct. 15 with a concussion, could be ready to take contact in practice within a week. 

Who's hot: Karlsson has a goal and seven assists in his past four games. … Stone has three goals and two assists in his past three games. … Pageau has a goal and three assists in his past three games. … Johnson has two goals and two assists in his past two games. … Kucherov has a goal and three assists in his past two games.

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