Lightning set to clash with Sens

SPORTS NETWORK

, Last Updated: 11:32 AM ET

The Tampa Bay Lightning will try to avoid losing for the fourth time in five games when they visit the Ottawa Senators for tonight's encounter at Scotiabank Place.

The Lightning have fallen out of first place in the Southeast Division, thanks in part to a poor showing in March. Tampa, which is six points behind Washington for the division lead, has compiled a 2-4-3 record this month, although the club has recorded a point in three straight and five of its last six games.

The Bolts are seeded fifth in the Eastern Conference and are two points behind idle Pittsburgh for the fourth spot.

Tampa lost for the third time in four games (1-1-2) when it dropped a shootout decision Thursday in Montreal. Mike Cammalleri's goal in the fourth round of the deciding phase gave the Canadiens a 3-2 victory.

After Simon Gagne's goal sent the shootout to the fourth round, Cammalleri's wrister skipped between Dwayne Roloson's legs to put Montreal ahead. Carey Price then stoned Teddy Purcell to secure the win.

Gagne and Purcell posted regulation goals for the slumping Bolts, while Roloson surrendered two goals on 29 shots.

"We'll take the point," Gagne said. "But this time of the season, you'd rather have two points."

Tampa has lost four of its last five road games and is completing a four-game swing tonight. The Bolts are 17-13-5 as the guest this season.

Ottawa, meanwhile, is dead last in the Eastern Conference, but the Senators have won four of their last six games heading into tonight.

Backup netminder Curtis McElhinney made 33 saves to help the Senators halt a two-game slide with Thursday's home win over the New Jersey Devils. Chris Neil scored twice and Ryan Shannon added the other marker for the Senators in their 3-1 victory over the playoff-hopeful Devils

Ottawa grabbed the lead on Shannon's goal with 58 seconds left in the opening period and never allowed New Jersey to draw even.

"It makes it easier to play with a lead," McElhinney said.

McElhinney made the start on Thursday due to a lower-body injury to Craig Anderson, who is the club's regular starting goaltender. Anderson was able to serve as the backup to McElhinney on Thursday and he could get the start tonight.

The Senators have a poor 12-19-5 record on home ice this season and are completing a three-game homestand tonight.

Tampa and the Senators have split a pair of games this season, but Ottawa has taken six of nine overall in the series. The Lightning have also dropped five of seven and 10 of their last 13 games in Ottawa.


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