Gerber made 24 saves for his first shutout of the season—and only his second victory—in the Senators’ 2-0 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night.
Gerber has started just three times in the past 22 games, winning once during that run despite stopping 80 of 83 shots. The 33-year-old goalie lost the starting job to Alex Auld in October.
“I try to use the ice time I can get and give myself a chance to go back in there and that’s pretty much all I can control,” Gerber said
In Gerber’s two previous starts, the Senators were 2-1 losers in Carolina on Nov. 7 and 2-0 losers in Chicago on Dec. 10—and the Blackhawks scored an empty-net goal.
“I think he’s played really well and kept us in games when he’s been in there,” forward Dany Heatley said. “The last two nights he’s played exceptionally well. The night he played in Chicago, he deserved a better fate. Tonight he made some big saves down the stretch for the win.”
The Lightning were coming off a 3-1 victory in Montreal on Thursday night that snapped their nine-game losing streak. Tampa Bay is 7-15-8 overall and 2-8-4 since interim coach Rick Tocchet took over for the fired Barry Melrose.
Tampa Bay star Martin St. Louis left the game after being hit in the forehead by linesman Derek Amell’s skate in the final minute of the third period. St. Louis was bleeding profusely and needed eight stitches to close two cuts on his forehead.
“They’re stitching him up right now. Pretty good gash,” Tocchet said.
The Ligntning are off until Thursday night.
“There will be a lot of practice time in the next four days,’ Tocchet said. “It’s not about a system, it’s about grit and wanting to win and we didn’t want to win.
“That was some bad hockey out there and if I was a fan I’d want to get my money back because that was terrible hockey. “You can’t blame the refs even though there were I don’t know how many power plays. It was just garbage hockey.
On the opening goal, Picard got the puck at the left point, took a few strides toward the net and fired a shot over Smith’s shoulder.
“It’s huge for us to come home and respond and have a pretty solid game,” said forward Mike Fisher, who had an assist on Alfredsson’s goal. “Obviously wins are huge for us right now. We have to build in that and keep going. We’re worried about wins however we can get them.”