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Senators 5, Lightning 3

The SportsXchange

OTTAWA -- The Ottawa Senators worked themselves into the playoff picture for the first time since Nov. 11 with a 5-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night at Canadian Tire Centre.

The win was the second in a row for the Senators (24-20-10), and it gives them 58 points, good for possession of the last wild-card spot in the tight Eastern Conference standings.

The Lightning (31-18-5) suffered their second consecutive defeat. They also lost star goalie Ben Bishop, who left with a possible concussion after a collision in the second minute of the game. Out of his crease chasing a puck, Bishop was kicked in the back of the head by Tampa Bay defenseman Nikita Kucherov.

Center Kyle Turris and winger Bobby Ryan each had a goal and an assist for the Senators, while defensemen Marc Methot and Erik Karlsson and center Zack Smith also scored.

Senators center Jason Spezza chipped in with two assists.

Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson made 35 saves for his 18th win of the season.

Centers Alex Killorn and Tyler Johnson and defenseman Victor Hedman scored for Tampa Bay. Goalie Anders Lindback stopped 23 of 27 shots after replacing Bishop.

The Senators had a 2-0 lead after one period. Methot scored into an empty net with Bishop sprawled and suffering at 1:49. In the final minute of the period, Karlsson took a nice setup from Spezza before finding mesh with a sharp angled shot.

Killorn got the Lighting close at 3:10 of the second period when his shot from the slot deflected off Senators winger Milan Michalek and squeaked through the pads of Anderson.

Smith restored Ottawa's two-goal lead a little more than three minutes later with a high shot from the slot that went off the post and in off Lindback's back.

Ryan made a great play to set up Turris late in the middle period. At the blue line, he tipped the puck around Tampa Bay defenseman Mark Barberio, then fended off defenseman Hedman before one-handing a pass to Turris, who whipped it past Lindback.

Ryan scored his 20th of the season at 6:55 of the third on a setup by Turris before Johnson answered with a short-handed goal at the 12:54 mark.

Hedman's goal came on a snapshot from the high slot with 2:52 left in the game and Lindback on the bench in favor of an extra attacker.

NOTES: G Anders Lindback served as the Lightning backup the previous seven games before entering Thursday's game. ... Senators C Jason Spezza entered the night with a minus-20 that had him tied for the sixth worst plus-minus in the league. Spezza, who started the season with a career plus-80, had not scored an even-strength goal since Nov. 24. ... Injured Lightning F Steven Stamkos skated again with his teammates Thursday morning at Canadian Tire Centre, but there is still no timetable for his return. Stamkos has missed the last 37 games with a broken leg he suffered Nov. 11 in Boston. "Eventually it's going to have to come down to a situation where he has to start battling with guys in the corner, just to see how those instinctive moments go, and is he going to feel it," Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said. ... The second-period goal scored by Senators C Kyle Turris was his eighth in the past 10 games.

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