Heading into a third-period power play, Guy Boucher wanted the Tampa Bay Lightning to be as concerned about preventing a goal as adding to their lead.
The rookie coach could only look on as the Ottawa Senators made his worst fears come true.
Ryan Shannon’s short-handed goal 12:27 into the third sparked Ottawa’s late comeback, and Jason Spezza scored 3:28 into overtime to cap the Senators’ 3-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night.
Shannon’s deke spoiled Dwayne Roloson’s shutout bid, drawing Ottawa within 2-1.
“We had total control of the game and the only thing I said on that power play was, ‘We can’t get caught,’ and that’s exactly what happened,” Boucher said.
Nick Foligno tied it with his 12th goal at 16:05.
Spezza lost control of the puck on a breakaway but the puck trickled through Roloson for the winner.
“I had lots of chances and I finally got one on a mistake,” Spezza said.
Elsewhere in the NHL it was: Toronto 5, Boston 2; Colorado 3, Edmonton 2 (SO); Buffalo 8, Atlanta 2; Philadelphia 3, Dallas 2 (SO); Blue Jackets 5, Wild 4 (OT); N.Y. Islanders 4, Florida 3; Nashville 3, Detroit 1; San Jose 5, St. Louis 3; and Anaheim 2, Los Angeles 1 (OT).
At Ottawa, Curtis McElhinney stopped 35 shots in his second straight start and fourth in five games for the Senators. McElhinney, claimed on waivers from the Lightning on Feb. 28, made 33 saves in a 3-1 win over New Jersey on Thursday.
Vincent Lecavalier and Dana Tyrell scored for Tampa Bay, which is on a 2-4-4 skid.
“We were playing a pretty solid game, and then when you get scored on on the (power play), the momentum just shifts. That’s probably the difference right there,” said Lecavalier, who got a major and game misconduct for slashing P.K. Subban late in the first period of Thursday’s shootout loss in Montreal.
Tampa Bay remained in fifth place in the Eastern Conference with 89 points, one behind Pittsburgh.
Roloson made 31 saves, including a sprawling stop on Chris Neil late in the second.
The 41-year-old goalie appeared destined for his fifth shutout in 27 games with Tampa Bay, since he was acquired in a Jan. 1 trade with the New York Islanders, until Shannon scored.
Roloson denied Bobby Butler with another huge stop moments later but Foligno tied it with 3:38 left.
“I think anytime you lose a game it’s frustrating, but for us we have to look at the adversity we’ve gone through and find a way to win those games,” Roloson said. “They are a team that works hard, they put pucks in the net and crash hard, so that’s how they got their last two goals.”
Ottawa (27-36-9) is last in the East and 28th overall in the NHL.
Steven Stamkos, who leads the league with 43 goals, drove a slapshot off the post on a Lightning power play in the first.
Roloson faced just three shots in the first, including a pair in the final 28 seconds.
Nate Thompson set up Lecavalier’s goal with a pass that found the Tampa Bay captain behind the Ottawa defence. Lecavalier drove in alone and fired a wrist shot past McElhinney 6:32 in.
Stamkos came close to making it a two-goal lead with a drive off a faceoff seconds after Butler was sent off for hooking at 8:59.
Tyrell made it 2-0 with his sixth goal 7:42 into the second.
At Toronto, Nazem Kadri scored his first NHL goal, Joey Crabb added a goal and two assists, and the Maple Leafs’ hammered slumping Boston.
Luke Schenn, Mike Brown and Keith Aulie also scored for the Maple Leafs. All of Toronto’s offence come from players with fewer than five goals this season.
Adam McQuaid and Dan Paille had goals for Northeast Division-leading Boston, 1-3-3 in its past seven games.
Toronto kept pace with eighth-place Buffalo, four points back with nine games remaining.
At Edmonton,Ryan Stoa scored the shootout winner as Colorado edged the Oilers.
Kevin Porter and Matt Duchene scored in regulation for the Avalanche, who were 0-9-1 in their previous 10 games and 1-18-2 in the past 21.
Jordan Eberle and Kurtis Foster had goals for the last-place Oilers, who have dropped six in a row and are the only NHL team already eliminated from playoff contention.
At Buffalo, Nathan Gerbe and Tyler Ennis scored 1:50 apart in the second period as the Sabres opened ground in the tight Eastern Conference playoff race with a rout of Atlanta.
Rob Niedermayer scored twice and Ryan Miller (30-21-7) made 28 saves—and stopped Evander Kane’s penalty shot—to become the eighth NHL goalie with six consecutive 30-win seasons. Mark Mancari had a goal and two assists, and Tyler Myers had three assists for eighth-place Buffalo, which moved two points ahead of idle Carolina.
At Dallas, Ville Leino scored in the sixth round of the shootout and Philadelphia clinched a playoff spot by beating the Stars.
At St. Paul, Minn., Antoine Vermette scored at 4:26 of overtime, lifting Columbus over the Wild.
At Sunrise, Fla., Frans Nielsen and P.A. Parenteau scored in the shootout and rookie Michael Grabner netted his 30th goal in the New York Islanders’ win at Florida.
At Nashville, Tenn., Jonathon Blum scored a power-play goal at 8:12 of the third period as the Predators won for the fourth time in five games.
At San Jose, Calif., Joe Pavelski had two goals and an assist as the Sharks topped St. Louis but might have lost a top scorer to an injury.
San Jose jumped out to a 3-0 lead less than eight minutes in and thoroughly dominated the Blues. But there was more of a cause for concern than celebration when rookie Logan Couture had to be helped to the locker-room early in the second period with an apparent right leg injury.
Couture was unable to put any weight on his leg when he was helped off the ice after his right skate slammed into the end boards 1:04 into the second.
At Los Angeles, Corey Perry scored his 37th goal 1:32 into overtime and Ray Emery made 31 saves in his second straight victory as Anaheim beat the Kings.