Redden returned to Ottawa’s lineup Thursday night but it didn’t help as the Tampa Bay Lightning went into Scotiabank Place and scored a 4-2 come-from-behind victory. The Lightning scored three times in the third period to overcome a 2-1 deficit and collect the win, outshooting the Senators 30-18 along the way. The Senators had just two shots through the first 15 minutes of the third period and finished the frame with six.
Ruslan Fedotenko, Paul Ranger and Vincent Lecavalier, into an empty net, had third-period goals to go along with a second-period score from Martin St. Louis as the Lightning (16-17-2) won for the second straight game.
Dany Heatley and Antoine Vermette scored for the Senators (17-18-1), who continue to struggle, having lost two straight games and six of their past eight.
“Physically I felt good but obviously the outcome of the game was very disappointing,” said Redden, who had missed Ottawa’s past nine games with an upper body injury.
“It just seems like the wheels come off in the third period. We give up a goal, which is fine, but then we only get two or three shots. We totally got away from what we need to do to be successful.”
Redden, who had missed eight games earlier in the season with a groin energy, felt the low shot total was based on a variety of factors.
“They had guys back in position for most of the game and we didn’t seem to want to get the puck in and forecheck all too often. Even in the third we didn’t put the onus on them to go back and get the puck and make it hard on their D.”
Fedotenko beat Ottawa’s Ray Emery from well out for his ninth goal of the season at 2:30 of the third period to tie the game 2-2.
The Lightning had several good chances before Ranger got his first goal of the season at 8:53 of the period. Brad Richards won a faceoff back to Ranger, who fired a shot past Emery from the point.
The Lightning had a great opportunity to increase their lead with seven minutes to play but Emery stoned St. Louis on a breakaway.
“As the game went on (the Lightning) started to dominate in the faceoff circle and the time of possession,” said Senators coach Bryan Murray.
After trudging through a scoreless opening period, the Senators took a 2-1 lead into the dressing room after 20 minutes.
Heatley opened the scoring with his 20th goal of the season. On a power play, Daniel Alfredsson made a perfect pass through the crease to Heatley, who shot into an empty net.
The Lightning got that goal back a little more than three minutes later when St. Louis banked a shot off the post, and then Emery, for his 23rd goal of the season.
“We exercised a demon,” said Lightning coach John Tortorella. “This is a building that has kicked our ass over I don’t know how many games. During this little jam we’ve played hard, we just haven’t made a big play or get a big save to win hockey games. That’s what happened for us (Thursday) night.”
The win improved the Lightning’s record in Ottawa to 7-18-2 all-time.
“We had a lot of jump at the start and you could feel the energy in the building,” said Emery. “We didn’t get the scoring chances that we deserved for the effort that we put in at the beginning of the game, but towards the end of the second period and into the third it was kind of a slower game.”
Notes: Heatley’s second-period goal was the 150th of his career. . . . The Senators play their final game before Christmas Saturday afternoon in Philadelphia. . . . The Lightning host the New York Rangers Saturday before they break for the holidays.