TAMPA — Late game heartache struck the Lightning once again.
Tampa Bay lost the lead late in the third, failed to convert on an overtime power play chance before pulling out a 4-3 shootout victory over the Ottawa Senators. The win snaps a five-game winless streak at home for Tampa Bay and pulls them back into a tie with Boston for the lead in the Atlantic Division.
Nikita Kucherov had the shootout deciding goal.
Victor Hedman tied a career high with three assists while Ben Bishop made 33 saves. Tyler Johnson scored shorthanded, B.J. Crombeen had his second of the season while Ondrej Palat scored early in the third.
Ottawa, which came in with the top ranked power play unit on the road, scored twice with the man advantage on goals from Erik Karlsson and Clarke MacArthur. Chris Neil scored the tying goal with 2:18 left in regulation to send the game to overtime. Craig Anderson finished with 35 saves for the Senators.
After killing off Ottawa's first power play chance of the game, the Senators went right back on the man advantage just over a minute later when Teddy Purcell was called for hooking at 14:21. Off the faceoff, Hedman knocked the puck forward where Johnson picked up the free puck and took off up the right wing side. Johnson waited patiently for Anderson to drop to the ice before roofing a shot over Anderson's right shoulder for a shorthanded goal at 14:32, the first of his NHL career and fourth shorthanded goal scored by Tampa Bay this season.
While still on the power play, Ottawa pulled even when a Spezza shot from the left circle caromed off the pad of Bishop over to Karlsson near the right circle where he was able to collect the rebound and beat Bishop as he dove back across the crease at 15:12.
The Lightning regained the lead early in the second period when Hedman sent a shot from the top of the right circle that Crombeen, who gained inside position on Chris Phillips inside the crease, was able to deflect into the vacated side of the net at 3:30 for Crombeen's second goal in his past four games.
The Senators once again pulled even, and it came once again with Purcell sitting in the penalty box after tripping Kyle Turris at 15:07. Tampa Bay was in control of the penalty kill and nearly had it killed off until Matt Carle sent a pass around the boards that Palat was unable to catch up with, allowing Bobby Ryan to keep the puck in the zone, send it to Spezza along the boards who then found an open MacArthur down low. MacArthur waited for Bishop to open up the five-hole before zipping the puck through the opening at 16:57 for the second Ottawa power play goal of the game.
The Lightning regained the lead for the third time on the night early in the third period when, just after a 4-on-2 rush was broken up, Marty St. Louis swooped in to collect a loose puck in the slot and then across his body was able to get a pass over to Palat at the bottom of the right circle where he was able to get just enough on the shot to push the puck into the net at 5:31. St. Louis extended his scoring streak to nine games as his pass was able to make to Palat after Ottawa defenseman Codi Ceci lost his stick.
For the third time on the night, the Senators found a way to pull even again, though this time it came at even strength. On a broken play, Zack Smith was able to keep the puck alive while sliding on the ice in a sitting position to get the puck over the Neil, who swatted at the puck as it deflected off the stick of Eric Brewer, allowing it to flutter past Bishop to the far post with 2:18 remaining.