TAMPA, Fla. -- Wade Redden shook his head in the Ottawa dressing room as he talked about a missed opportunity.
The Senators could have moved into eighth-place tie in the Eastern Conference last night, but their 3-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning blew that chance.
Instead, the Senators watched Tampa goalie Johan Holmqvist come up with some big saves in the third in front of an announced crowd of 19,819 at the St. Pete Times Forum. The result ended Ottawa's four-game winning streak
"One streak ends and now we've got to get ourselves on another roll. We haven't got the luxury of losing points like this," said Redden. "That's the situation we put ourselves in with the way that we played at the start of the year.
"This was kind of a funny game. We had some chances in the third and we just weren't able to put them in."
For the Lightning, it was their first regular-season victory over the Senators since March 1, 2003. Ottawa had gone 8-0-0 against the Bolts over the last two seasons.
While Holmqvist had to make just 22 saves, the Senators had some quality chances. Only centre Jason Spezza was able to beat him, firing a shot home at 3:34 of the first period for Ottawa's only goal of the night.
From there, Holmqvist was perfect. He made a huge stop on Joe Corvo midway through the second by getting across the net and later pulled a shot from Peter Schaefer into his glove before it crossed the line.
"(Holmqvist) played really well, there's no question," said Senators coach Bryan Murray. "When it was 2-1, I thought he made three or four really huge stops. We didn't give up many shots. They found a way to get a couple of goals. It was a pretty even hockey game, but their guy made some real stops."
Though the Senators had done a good job of shutting down the Bolts, the home side struck for second-period goals from Brad Richards and Filip Kuba in a span of 36 seconds to take a 2-1 lead.
Emery didn't have much of a chance on either. Richards fired the puck upstairs on the glove side from the slot on a pass from Kuba at the 11:04 mark.
A pass from Eric Perrin set up the opening goal from Kuba. His third of the season was a shot that Emery didn't touch as it beat him high on the stick side.
Then, with Spezza in the box for a questionable hooking call, Martin St. Louis put the game away by beating Emery at 18:42 of the third. The Senators didn't get a power-play goal on the two chances they were handed.
"It was one of those games where the bounces didn't seem to go our away," said Ottawa centre Antoine Vermette. "When we did have chances ... (Holmqvist) was there to make the saves. We had the chances, we just weren't able to put them in."
The Senators had visions of coming home with a sweep on this four-game, eight-day road trip. Now, they'll try to do at least better than a split when they make a stop in Raleigh,N.C., tomorrow night (7 p.m., Rogers Sportsnet) to face the Carolina Hurricanes. And they want to make sure they don't let another one slip away.
"If we can win three of four on this trip, then we can go home feeling good about ourselves," said Spezza. "We played pretty well. We had chances, we just weren't able to score."