OTTAWA — You knew Saturday night's game against the Senators would be a challenge for the Lightning.
Playing the Northeast bottom-dwellers in eerily quiet Scotiabank Place did not provide quite the same adrenaline rush as facing, and beating, the Canadiens on Thursday in Montreal.
But a 2-0 loss in a game that was supposed to build on that strong effort?
"A big disappointment, especially after Thursday night," center Jussi Jokinen said. "They played a bad game, too, but we played even worse."
Right wing Marty St. Louis sustained a cut on his forehead and across his nose and received eight stitches after he was inadvertently struck by the skate of tumbling linesman Derek Arnel in the game's final minute.
"A pretty good gash," said coach Rick Tocchet, who held out hope St. Louis could play Thursday at home against Colorado.
It was not the score that was a surprise in a matchup of the league's lowest-scoring teams. But Tampa Bay (7-15-8) was outshot 33-24, including 16-7 in the third period, the byproduct of awful execution during a game that ended a 1-3 road trip.
All that against a reeling Ottawa team that had lost three straight, including one night earlier at Washington, and entered with one goal in its previous seven periods.
"Terrible," Tocchet said. "Lots of bad hockey out there.
"If I was a fan, I'd want to get my money back. That was terrible hockey."
Bad passing and bad decisions with the puck were the norm for the Lightning, on a 1-8-2 streak and shut out for the third time this season. The team was overwhelmed on faceoffs, winning just 34 percent. Captain Vinny Lecavalier won just 5 of 18.
The power play, attempting to be pretty instead of gritty, went 0-for-5 and is 0-for-26 in the past six games.
Lecavalier and St. Louis had one shot each. Vinny Prospal had zero.
"If you have one win in 11 games and it's emotional and you can't win the next night, then we're in trouble," said Tocchet, who added, "a lot of garbage hockey out there. We weren't ready to win."
Mike Smith did his part with 31 saves, allowing only former Lightning Alex Picard's second-period power-play goal. The Senators also scored an empty-netter.
Ottawa's Martin Gerber got his first shutout of the season with 24 saves.
Both teams were sloppy in the first, and there is an argument the slugfest between Tampa Bay's Zenon Konopka and Chris Neil 7:10 in was the highlight.
The Lightning did a great job early in the second period killing a 1:36 five-on-three with Smith providing the exclamation point with a sliding save of Jason Spezza's one-timer.
But Ottawa took advantage of the ensuing 22-second five-on-four with a goal by Picard at 5:04 on a screened slap shot that Smith never saw and went in a top corner.
Damian Cristodero can be reached at email@example.com.
First Period—None. Penalties—Prospal, TB (boarding), 1:13; Konopka, TB, major (fighting), 7:10; Neil, Ott, major (fighting), 7:10; Szczechura, TB (holding), 9:15; Heatley, Ott (cross-checking), 17:33.
Second Period—1, Ottawa, Picard 3 (Bell, Zubov), 5:04 (pp). Penalties—Eminger, TB (tripping), 2:45; Craig, TB (high-sticking), 3:09; Kuba, Ott (interference), 6:42; Spezza, Ott (hooking), 11:00; Phillips, Ott (goaltender interference), 12:50; Jokinen, TB (tripping), 19:14.
Third Period—2, Ottawa, Alfredsson 8 (Kuba, Fisher), 19:15 (en). Penalties—Krajicek, TB (tripping), 1:49; Vermette, Ott (high-sticking), 2:57; Ranger, TB (interference), 6:25; Tampa Bay bench, served by Artyukhin (too many men), 13:49; Ranger, TB, 20:00. Shots on Goal—Tampa Bay 9-8-7—24. Ottawa 7-10-16—33. Power-play opportunities—Tampa Bay 0 of 5; Ottawa 1 of 8. Goalies—Tampa Bay, M.Smith 5-11-7 (32 shots-31 saves). Ottawa, Gerber 2-5-1 (24-24). A—18,446 (19,153).