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New Lightning goalie stops former team

The SportsXchange

TAMPA -- Ben Bishop insisted it was more about a "V" as in "victory," not "vendetta." But in just his third game with the Lightning and first at Tampa Bay Times Forum since being traded by Ottawa last week, the goaltender got both Tuesday in a 3-2 win over the Senators.

Steven Stamkos scored the game-winner on the power play with 5:04 left, and the Lightning maintained their minuscule playoff hopes.

Tampa Bay's goaltender of the future made 31 saves against a Senators team fading fast in the Eastern Conference.

"It was a great feeling, a great two points for our team," Bishop said.

And how much gratification was there in beating Ottawa?

"A little bit ... not that much," he said. "It's not about me versus them at all."

Stamkos somewhat disagreed, saying Bishop was "definitely jacked up."

Lightning coach Jon Cooper was simply impressed.

"It speaks volumes about his composure as a goaltender," he said. "He comes into his first home game against his former team and he beats them. ... You have to embrace that and really like that in a goaltender."

Bishop's counterpart had no chance on the winning goal, as Stamkos -- tied for the NHL lead with 26 goals -- took a laser cross-slot pass from Vincent Lecavalier and slammed the puck into an open net behind Craig Anderson.

Both Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis, who began the sequence by cycling the puck from near the blue line to Lecavalier in the corner, earned their team-best second points of the game.

Tampa Bay scored twice on the power play, and the winner came just 16 seconds into the Senators' seventh penalty. Sergei Gonchar, hopping off the bench, was forced to hook Stamkos as the Lightning center broke alone up the left wing.

Ottawa (19-14-6) has lost five consecutive games. Tied for sixth in the Eastern Conference, the Senators are just two points of ahead of the Winnipeg Jets, the top team that is not currently in playoff position.

"There is nothing real positive about it at all," Ottawa coach Paul MacLean said. "We haven't won a big game in what seems like forever, and it's getting hard."

"We just have to fight through it," said Kyle Turris, who led Ottawa with two points. "It's a frustrating slump, but we just have to keep playing."

Tampa Bay (17-20-2) snapped a two-game losing streak and improved to 5-0-1 in its past six home games. The Lightning are 13th out of 15 teams in the East, eight point behind the Southeast Division-leading Washington Capitals and six behind the eighth-place New York Rangers.

"We have to win every game," Stamkos said. "We're going to need some help. But nobody in this room is going to stop playing until they cross our name off."

The Senators tied the score 2-2 on the power play just 21 seconds into the third period when Bishop -- the tallest goaltender in NHL history at 6-foot-7 -- couldn't jump high enough to snare an airborne puck. Guillaume Latendresse was behind him to whack in it when it came down.

Ottawa took a 1-0 lead with 5:31 left in the first period on Daniel Alfredsson's ninth goal of the season. The right winger snuck behind Lightning defenseman Eric Brewer in the crease to jam in a rebound from a Turris shot from the left side.

The goal was reviewed for a potential use of high stick, but it stood. Turris subsequently had a potential tying goal disallowed in the second period because he used a high-sticking motion to redirect an Alfredsson blast.

Pierre-Cedric Labrie tied the score 2:35 into the second period when he shoveled a loose puck past Anderson as Ottawa's Peter Regin opted to play Nate Thompson in the crease instead. The goal was the first of Labrie's NHL career.

Ottawa recoiled after the goal, committing two penalties within two seconds of each other, including a costly faceoff violation by Regin that gave the Lightning a five-on-three chance. Lecavalier chipped in a rebound of a Teddy Purcell shot just 39 seconds into the power play for a 2-1 Lightning lead.

The goal was Lecavalier's ninth of the season. Purcell (22) and St. Louis (39) earned assists. The point was the 900th of St. Louis' NHL career.

Tampa Bay capitalized on just one of five Senators penalties in the period but gained maintain momentum and took a 2-1 lead into the third.

NOTES: Tampa Bay left winger Ryan Malone returned after missing eight games with a left shoulder injury. He played on the Lightning's top points-producing line with Stamkos and St. Louis. ... Centers Tom Pyatt and Benoit Pouliot were healthy scratches for Tampa Bay. ... Rookie Cory Conacher, traded Wednesday to Ottawa in the deal for Bishop, entered the game as the Senators' top scorer with 25 points and 10 goals. He has one goal in two games with Ottawa. ... Bishop became the fourth different Lightning goalie used against the Senators in the three-game series this season. ... Bishop and Conacher may have passed on the transaction wire, but they met face to face when Conacher bowled into the goalie seven minutes into the game.

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