When the Tampa Bay Lightning arrived in Ottawa, they hadn't been pleased with their overall play this season. A strong performance against the Senators was definitely a step in the right direction.
Andrei Vasilevskiy made 27 saves, Vladislav Namestnikovand Steven Stamkos scored early in the second period, and the Lightning beat the Senators 4-1 Saturday night.
Alex Killorn and Valtteri Filppula also scored for the Lightning, who were playing their first road game of the season.
"For probably 40-50 minutes it was the best we've played all season," Stamkos said. "The first 20 minutes was definitely the most dominating and you build on that."
"It's clear we're just not there yet," Senators coach Guy Boucher said. "We've got work to do. We showed we were able to play with them at times, but to be able to compete with a team that's expected to compete for the Stanley Cup we definitely have more work to do."
Anderson was solid for much of the game for the Senators, but Killorn was able to sneak one through his right arm to give the Lightning a 3-1 lead midway through the third. It was Killorn's fourth goal of the season.
Filppula made it 4-1 late in the third.
"They came out and played a better game than we did right from the start," Ottawa's Erik Karlsson said. "Unfortunately that's the way it's going to be some times. We didn't have our best today."
Boucher said part of the problem was trying to force plays.
"It's what hurt us in the first and killed us in the third," he said. "We were a lot better in the second when we played with speed and pressure and stopped trying to make plays where there were none."
Namestnikov opened the scoring 2:36 into the second with the man advantage.
"We came out and got the lead for the first time this year which was nice."
Tampa made it 2-0 at the six-minute mark, on the power play again, as Namestnikov made a cross-crease pass to Stamkos, who ripped it past Anderson. The Senators challenged the goal believing the play was offside, but after a lengthy review the goal stood.
"Our start was fine," Anderson said. "We got out of the first period 0-0 then got into a little penalty trouble. The (penalty kill) just didn't get the job done. I'm a big part of that. My job there is to be a big part of that PK, and I wasn't good enough."
. The Senators managed to get on board with 4:33 left in the middle period as Neil picked up his own rebound. Vasilevskiy made the initial save, but wasn't able to freeze the puck and Neil got a stick on it.
NOTES: D Thomas Chabot and LW Matt Puempel were healthy scratches for the Senators. ... D Matt Taormina was a healthy scratch for Tampa Bay. ... This marked the first time Ottawa coach Guy Boucher faced his old team since being fired from the Lightning in 2013.
Lightning: At Toronto on Tuesday night in the second game of a five-game trip.
Senators: At Vancouver on Tuesday night in the opener of a three-game trip to western Canada.