OTTAWA (AP)—Antoine Vermette’s third-period goal was important, yet it wasn’t the one that had people talking.
With Ottawa already ahead 2-0, Vermette stretched the lead with a highlight-reel effort. Standing on the goal line facing the end boards, Vermette shot the puck from behind his back and between his legs into the short side past Lightning goalie Johan Holmqvist.
“I’ve tried that in practice a couple of times and I remember in junior I tried a play like that but I didn’t score on it. I got an assist, but that’s the first time I scored on it,” Vermette said. “It doesn’t happen a lot of times, but I got lucky.”
Vermette’s second goal of the game with 7 minutes left helped the Senators hold off Tampa Bay. The Lightning cut a 4-0 deficit in half, but couldn’t get closer.
After dominating the Lightning through the opening 20 minutes, the Senators were on their heels most of the second period, outscored 2-0 and outshot 17-9. The Lightning outshot the Senators 12-5 in the third and 36-25 overall, but Senators goalie Ray Emery stood his ground.
“They had their chances, but Ray played really well,” Senators forward Mike Fisher said. “We came back in the third.”
Perrin and Lecavalier scored less than two minutes apart in the second to make it 4-2. The Lightning had several chances to narrow the gap even further, but they squandered back-to-back power plays shortly after Lecavalier’s goal.
“It’s hard to come back down 4-0 in the first,” Lecavalier said. “In the second and third we played a lot better and we got back in the game after we scored the second goal. If we could have buried that third one it would have given us a chance.”
Things started poorly for the Senators as Peter Schaefer was penalized for interference 1:33 into the game. Their fortunes quickly turned though, as Eaves stole the puck at the Lightning blue line and beat Johan Holmqvist on the backhand for a short-handed goal.
Corvo doubled Ottawa’s lead when his point shot beat Holmqvist on the power play at 6:49.
Vermette’s trick-shot goal ended the night for Holmqvist, who was replaced by Karri Ramo, making his NHL debut.
Spezza gave the Senators their biggest lead at 16:21 after taking a feed from Chris Kelly, who stole the puck behind the Tampa net and found Spezza alone in front.
The Senators set a club record for most consecutive goals without allowing one. After falling behind 1-0 at Carolina on Nov. 28, the Senators scored the next four goals in a 4-1 win. Ottawa then beat Florida 6-0 on Nov. 30. The Senators’ had scored 14 straight goals.