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McElhinney, Sens stop Lightning

Mar 12, 2011 - 4:18 AM
Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - Curtis McElhinney's first start with the Senators was a successful one, as he stopped 34-of-35 shots to help Ottawa clip Tampa Bay, 2-1, at St. Pete Times Forum.

McElhinney, taken off waivers by the Sens at the trade deadline from Tampa, hadn't appeared in a game since February 23 when he suffered a 3-2 loss to Los Angeles with Anaheim.

Jason Spezza and Bobby Butler scored for the Senators, who have won three in a row including both ends of their Florida tilts on back-to-back nights.

Martin St. Louis notched the only goal for the Lightning, who skidded to their fifth loss in six games.

Dwayne Roloson played well in defeat, making 20 saves.

Spezza tallied the lone goal of the first period when he was on the doorstep to convert a Ryan Shannon rebound for a power-play goal at 10:35.

Butler doubled the Ottawa advantage at the 53-second mark of the second period when he slid a shot low and to the left post off a lead pass from Sergei Gonchar. McElhinney kept the Bolts off the board in the middle 20 minutes with nine saves.

Tampa finally clicked on the power play, getting within a goal at 2:56 of the third period during a full two-minute 5-on-3 on St. Louis' stuffer at the left post.

However, the Lightning couldn't find an equalizer when Butler took consecutive penalties in the final 7 1/2 minutes.

Roloson was pulled for an extra skater with 1:11 remaining but couldn't beat McElhinney.

Game Notes

McElhinney improved to 7-9-2 on the season...Ottawa upped its record to 19-10-2-3 all-time at Tampa Bay since both clubs entered the NHL in 1992...Spezza posted his first goal since February 25.