OTTAWA (AP) – Antoine Vermette scored twice and Jason Spezza added a goal and an assist to help the Ottawa Senators defeat the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-2 on Saturday night.

Vermette’s second goal of the game with 7 minutes left helped the Senators hold off Tampa Bay. The Lightning cut a 4-0 deficit in half but couldn’t get any closer.

Patrick Eaves and Joe Corvo also scored for the Senators, who have won seven of eight.

Eric Perrin and Vincent Lecavalier scored in the second period for the Lightning, who have lost three straight following a three-game winning streak.

After dominating the Lightning through the opening 20 minutes, the Senators were on their heels most of the second period, outscored 2-0 and outshot 17-9.

Perrin and Lecavalier scored less than two minutes apart in the second to make it 4-2. The Lightning had several chances to narrow the gap even further, but they squandered back-to-back power plays shortly after Lecavalier’s goal.

Things started poorly for the Senators as Peter Schaefer was penalized for interference 1:33 into the game. Their fortunes quickly turned though, as Eaves stole the puck at the Lightning blue line and beat Johan Holmqvist on the backhand for a short-handed goal.

Corvo doubled Ottawa’s lead when his point shot beat Holmqvist on the power play at 6:49.

Vermette made it 3-0 fewer than two minutes later with a highlight-reel effort. Standing on the goal line facing the end boards, Vermette shot the puck from behind his back and between his legs into the short side past Holmqvist.

That ended the net for Holmqvist, who was replaced by Karri Ramo, making his NHL debut.

Spezza gave the Senators their biggest lead at 16:21 after taking a feed from Chris Kelly, who stole the puck behind the Tampa net and found Spezza alone in front.

Notes: The Senators set a club record for most consecutive goals without allowing one. After falling behind 1-0 at Carolina on Nov. 28, the Senators scored the next four goals in a 4-1 win. Ottawa then beat Florida 6-0 on Nov. 30. The Senators’ had scored 14 straight goals.

AP-ES-12-02-06 2152EST


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