OTTAWA – Tampa Bay coach Guy Boucher was hardly impressed with the Lightning’s 2-1 win over the Ottawa Senators on Saturday night.
And after the game, he let his players know their effort was far from perfect.
“Some will say we won that one,”said Boucher.“We did bounce back, but I want a lot more than that.
“We usually come out with a lot more desire than that. We need to be better.”
Meanwhile, Senators coach Cory Clouston said he liked the way his team has played of late and it deserved a better fate.
The Senators, coming off a 3-2 shootout loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday night, did have a better effort but creating offence remains a huge problem.
After falling behind 1-0, the Lightning scored twice in the third, with Martin St. Louis scoring the game winner.
Adam Hall also scored while Dwayne Roloson made 30 saves for the Lightning (25-12-5).
Zack Smith scored the lone goal for the Senators (16-20-6). Brian Elliott faced 26 shots.
Roloson, acquired by the Lightning on Jan. 1, was clearly the difference in the game.
“We had so many chances so you’ve got to give Roloson some credit,”said Nick Foligno.“I think if we continue to play like that we’ll start getting some wins.”
The Senators got off to a slow start as they were outshot 7-1 at the halfway mark of the first period.
Ottawa rebounded playing a strong second half of the period but the contest remained scoreless.
A bright spot for the struggling Senators of late has been their penalty kill. The unit was solid against the Lightning late in the first after Jarkko Ruutu took two minor penalties on the same shift.
Elliott made a number of big saves, including one on Steven Stamkos as Tampa was 0-for-5 with the man advantage.
“We have standard on our team and he wants the best from us in every game,”said Stamkos.“At the end of the day it’s a win for us, but we just need to start better, have that focus from the start of the game and that’s what Guy said to us pretty loudly.”
Roloson was solid in the second against Milan Michalek and Foligno but was unable to stop Smith.
The Senators took a 1-0 lead with less than three minutes remaining in the period as Jesse Winchester, on a 2-on-1, fed Smith a perfect pass. He beat Roloson low to the stick side.
“When you’re losing it’s definitely an uphill battle to get back on the winning end,”said Smith.“We’re confident we will and once we do I think we’ll be able to capitalize on the chances.”
Tampa’s Dominic Moore took advantage of a brutal giveaway by Alex Kovalev just inside Ottawa’s blue-line in the opening minutes of the third. Moore carried the puck just to the right of Elliott and dropped it back to Hall, who was left all alone and had a wide-open left side to tie the game.
“It’s frustrating,”said Ottawa’s Chris Campoli.“It’s not easy what we’re going through, but there are some signs that we’re getting better.
“We ran into a hot goalie so I don’t think we deserved our fate.”
The Lightning took the lead at the five-minute mark as St. Louis scored his 18th of the season. On the same play Mike Fisher was hurt blocking a shot and left the game. Fisher returned for one shift, but was then done for the night.
Notes: The Senators were without G Pascal Leclaire (lower body, day-to-day), C Jason Spezza (shoulder, indefinite). D Matt Carkner was a healthy scratch for the Senators. . . The Lightning were without G Mike Smith (knee, indefinite), C Mattias Ritola (ear).