St. Louis has 2 goals, Lightning top Senators 3-1

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 5, 2013 at 10:39 pm •  Published: December 5, 2013
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TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Martin St. Louis helped the undermanned Tampa Bay Lightning stop a lengthy scoring drought.

St. Louis scored two in-close goals, Ben Bishop won his 15th game this season, and the Lightning beat the Ottawa Senators 3-1 on Thursday night.

"If you look at most of my goals, I'm not the kind of guy that's going to score from outside the circle," St. Louis said. "It's just not my game. I try to get free and go to the net. That's what I did tonight and the puck came to me."

Valtteri Filppula also scored for the Lightning, who were coming off consecutive shutout losses to Columbus (1-0) and Pittsburgh (3-0). Ondrej Palat had two assists.

Ottawa, which has dropped seven of 10, got a goal from Patrick Wiercioch.

"We're just finding ways to lose," Wiercioch said. "We know we can be a better team and be more consistent, and we haven't proven that yet."

Tampa Bay defenseman Victor Hedman left after the first period with a lower-body injury, while defenseman Keith Aulie departed during the second due to a broken hand.

Lightning coach Jon Cooper said Aulie will have surgery Friday, and that Hedman will likely miss Saturday night's game against Winnipeg.

"I don't know when he's coming back," Cooper said of Hedman. "He's more a day to day. We'll see what happens, but I don't expect him back for Winnipeg."

The Lightning were already without several key players, including center Steven Stamkos (broken leg), left wing Ryan Malone (broken ankle), and defensemen Eric Brewer (lower body) and Radko Gudas (upper body).

"A big effort from an extremely short-handed team," Cooper said.

Stamkos has a goal of returning in February, while Malone will be out three to four weeks. Brewer and Gudas could soon return.

St. Louis beat goalie Robin Lehner from just outside the crease to give Tampa Bay a 2-1 advantage 13:19 into the second. The Lightning captain tied Jason Arnott for 91st place on the NHL points list with 938.

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