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Resurgent Lightning look for another win

Ottawa (4-5-1) at Tampa Bay (3-3-3), 7:30 pm EDT

TAMPA, Florida (Ticker) -- Steven Stamkos finally has arrived,

and so have the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Behind their prize prospect's surge, the suddenly inspired

Lightning look for their third straight victory when they host

the Ottawa Senators on Saturday.

The top overall pick in last June's draft, Stamkos scored two

goals - the first and second of his career - and added an assist

as the Lightning cruised to a 5-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres on

Thursday - their third in four games.

The 18-year-old Stamkos was held scoreless in his first seven

career games before notching an assist in Tuesday's victory over

Toronto. Tampa Bay had recorded just one win over its first

seven contests, but new coach Barry Melrose finally has gotten

his lifeless team to produce the way so many thought it would

prior to the season.

Thursday marked the first time this campaign the Lightning have

scored more than three goals in a game. They will look for

similar results in the midst of playing seven of eight on the


Olaf Kolzig made 29 saves on Thursday in place of Mike Smith,

who has been impressive all season. The 26-year-old Smith is

second in the league in save percentage (.942) and fifth in

goals-against average (2.11) in six games.

Since losing four in a row, the Senators have won two straight.

However, their shoddy play in the season's first month has been

a stark contrast from 2007-08, when they began 9-1-0.

Alex Auld has started four straight games while Martin Gerber

has been nursing a leg injury. In that span, Auld has yielded

three goals or fewer three times.

Auld has been supported immensely by his team's first line.

Jason Spezza highlighted Ottawa's 5-2 win over Buffalo on Monday

with two goals and an assist. On Thursday, Dany Heatley scored

a power-play goal and captain Daniel Alfredsson added an assist

after signing a four-year extension earlier in the day as the

team held on for a 2-1 victory over the Florida Panthers.



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