NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Tampa Bay Lightning edged Ottawa 4-3 after a shootout on Tuesday, handing the Senators a seventh consecutive loss despite a stirring late comeback by the visitors in regulation play.
Vaclav Prospal connected in the fourth round of the shootout to give the Lightning a second straight win, a victory that had looked fairly routine until the Senators tied the game with two goals in the last two minutes of regulation.
“It was a big win for us,” Tampa coach John Tortorella told reporters.
”At this time of year, and where we’ve gone and some of the things that have gone on with our club, we need to win that one.
“Usually you’re happy getting a point (for the tie at the end of regulation) but we needed to win that game, just for our confidence.”
The Lightning had lost six straight games before coming home with a 4-1 win over the Boston Bruins on Saturday.
They made it two in a row Tuesday but it was far from easy.
Ottawa’s Daniel Alfredsson scored twice in the third period, the second goal coming at 18:03. Wade Redden scored 36 seconds later to allow the struggling Senators to force the extra session.
Goalie Ray Emery made a big save in the closing seconds of the five-minute overtime but Ottawa lost in the shootout.
Ottawa started the season 15-2, matching the NHL record for the fastest to 15 wins. Since then, the Senators are 1-5-3 and are in the midst of the franchise’s longest winless streak since the 1997-98 season.
“Obviously, it was nice to get rewarded, fight ourselves back and get the game into overtime and a shootout,” said Alfredsson, who scored his 18th and 19th goals of the season.
“We would have loved to have won it but obviously we’re happy with getting a point.”
*Pavel Datsyuk scored two unassisted goals to help the Detroit Red Wings to a 4-1 road victory over the Montreal Canadiens.
It was the fourth straight win for Detroit, which has the NHL’s best record at 19-6-2.
*Defenseman Wade Belak scored his first goal in four years and the Toronto Maple Leafs scored a 3-1 home victory over the Nashville Predators despite being out-shot 34-15.
*The Calgary Flames ended their four-game losing streak and cooled off the visiting St Louis Blues with a 3-1 victory as Alex Tanguay had two assists.
The Blues had been 8-1-1 in their previous 10 games.
Writing by Mike Shalin; Editing by John O'Brien