Happy birthday, Carrie!

BRUCE GARRIOCH, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:12 AM ET

Better late than never for Mike Fisher.

Not only did the Senators centre gift wrap a couple of points for Ottawa when he scored the OT winner in a 3-2 victory over the Lightning last night at Scotiabank Place, he also gave singer/girlfriend Carrie Underwood a reason to smile a day after her 26th birthday.

With Underwood watching from a private box, Fisher helped Ottawa extend its winning streak to four games with his 11th goal of the season at 2:38 of OT as the Senators closed out their eight-game homestand with a 5-2-1 record as they hit the road for a game tonight against the Bruins in Boston.

"Maybe a birthday gift for her, I guess," Fisher said with a smile.

It wasn't the Senators' prettiest effort, but it was enough to extend their second-longest winning streak of the season with goals from Chris Kelly and Ryan Shannon, along with two-point efforts from Daniel Alfredsson and Chris Phillips.

CLOUSTON: UGLY WIN

Sure, the Senators have a slim hope of making the playoffs, but they're going to have to play a lot better than they did last night down the stretch because they just barely beat the Bolts.

Senators coach Cory Clouston wasn't completely impressed.

"We'll take the points. That was a pretty ugly game in a lot of ways, but we found a way to win. We've won four in a row and we're not going to complain about a win," said Clouston. "But we have to objectively look at what we did do well and what we didn't do well going forward. There's definitely some things that we have to work on.

"We just got off the page a little bit. We were too individualistic and we weren't getting pucks in deep. We were trying to beat guys too often 1-on-1. We didn't attack as a unit whether it was 5-on-5 or even the power play. We just kind of got lethargic at times as well. Our game just wasn't where we needed it to be."

The Senators didn't make it simple.

Goaltender Brian Elliott won his fourth in a row, but he didn't look good on a goal by Adam Hall at 9:38 of the second that tied it 2-2 only moments after Kelly had given the club a lead at 9:25 short-handed. Elliott was out of position as Hall's shot went underneath him.

SPEZZA GETS HIS KICKS

Centre Jason Spezza looked like he had given the Senators the lead when he beat goaltender Karri Ramo with five minutes left in the third period, but referee Wes McCauley ruled that Spezza kicked it in.

After consulting with the war room in Toronto, the league backed McCauley's call that Spezza had booted in the rebound of a Brendan Bell shot.

"If I can get my leg on that to kick it in. I should be a soccer player," quipped Spezza, who did pick up his 400th career point with an assist on Shannon's opening goal at 4:53 of the first period to move ahead of Radek Bonk (399) into fourth on the Senators' all-time scoring list.

"I thought it was a goal. Maybe it looks like I'm kicking it by the way I was moving, but I just opened my foot up to play the puck down, so I don't think I kicked it. It's one of those tough calls that I guess they have to make in Toronto. That one would have been nice, but (Fisher) found a way to get the goal and we're finding ways to win."

Alfredsson said the club will take the two points.

"It wasn't a great game. We could have done a better job of creating offence," said Alfredsson. "We didn't do a whole lot 5-on-5. Although, we didn't give them much either and it was kind of a chess match going back and forth. It feels great to find a way to win when you're not playing your best."

BRUCE.GARRIOCH@SUNMEDIA.CA


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