TAMPA — This time against the Senators, the Lightning didn't have to play catch-up for most of the game.
This time, the Lightning actually held a lead. 4-2, to be exact.
But this time, the Lightning was on the other end of a third-period comeback.
After Tampa Bay rallied to defeat the Senators in Ottawa last Sunday, Ottawa scored four third-period goals to come from behind and defeat the Lightning 6-4 on Saturday at Amalie Arena.
"It's a tough pill to swallow, but it was just kind of a perfect storm against us," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said.
The storm started with Brady Tkachuk. Fifty seconds into the third period, he put the puck on net, and as it trickled toward the goal line, Lightning defenseman Dan Girardi accidentally knocked it in as he tried to clear it.
The tying goal came from Colin White, who scored a power-play goal three seconds in after Mathieu Joseph went to the box for delay of game.
"That's something I can't do in 4-3 games," Joseph said. "That's a bad play by me. They made us pay. After that, we just couldn't recover."
About two minutes after the power-play goal, Ryan Dzingel gave the Senators the lead back at 5-4. Another power-play goal from Mark Stone with 11 seconds left in the game cemented the comeback and the victory.
"The one thing we wanted was 60 minutes of compete regardless of the score," Ottawa coach Guy Boucher said.
The first 20 minutes from Ottawa also were strong. In what seemed like an attempt to put together a rerun of Sunday's first period, Ottawa jumped out to another 2-0 lead.
Similar to Sunday, the period started with an Ottawa goal about five minutes in. In Ottawa, Bobby Ryan filled that role. In Tampa, Matt Duchene took up the responsibility of scoring that first goal as he scored his sixth of the season off a wraparound 4:58 in. Ryan scored the second goal Saturday.
Unlike Sunday, the Lightning didn't wait until the second period to score. And this time, Joseph didn't wait until the third period to score.
After scoring his first career NHL goal in Ottawa on Sunday, Joseph scored his third goal this week with 11:11 left in the first period to bring the Lightning within 2-1.
Then came the Lightning's flurry of goals in the second period.
Thirty-nine seconds into the period, Victor Hedman skated past two defensemen to score a five-hole power-play goal that tied the score at 2. It came in Hedman's first game back after missing the previous seven games with an upper-body injury.
"I felt the legs were good, find an opening and a little luck on the shot," Hedman said. "It's a good feeling (to be back)."
The scoring proved contagious for the defensemen. Defenseman Brayden Coburn gave Tampa Bay the lead with 10:45 left in the second with a rocket from the blue line. Joseph registered an assist on Coburn's third goal of the season.
Then Joseph scored his own second-period goal to give the Lightning a 4-2 lead with 5:28 left. It marked Joseph's first multigoal game of his career.
But it didn't mean nearly as much, as the Lightning squandered that lead after the second intermission.
"(The Senators) were hungry to play well in the third period," Joseph said. "I think we have to be careful of that in the next four games."
Those four games will come on the road as the Lightning heads to Buffalo, then Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Nashville.
And it will do so with a bad taste from a bad finish to a homestand.
"Bottom line is, you have a 4-2 lead going into the third and you liked how you're comfortable with how you're playing," Cooper said, "so it's a tough one to swallow."
First Period—1, Ottawa, Duchene 6 (White), 4:58. 2, Ottawa, Ryan 5 (Ceci), 7:21. 3, Tampa Bay, Joseph 3 (Coburn, Sergachev), 8:49. Penalties—Tierney, OTT, (hooking), 10:38; Martel, TB, (slashing), 17:13.
Second Period—4, Tampa Bay, Hedman 3 (Vasilevskiy), 0:39 (pp). 5, Tampa Bay, Coburn 3 (Joseph, Killorn), 9:15. 6, Tampa Bay, Joseph 4 (Cirelli, Killorn), 14:32. Penalties—Jaros, OTT, (hooking), 0:22; Hedman, TB, (tripping), 3:55; McCormick, OTT, (slashing), 11:04.
Third Period—7, Ottawa, Tkachuk 4, 0:50. 8, Ottawa, White 6 (Ryan, Tkachuk), 8:41 (pp). 9, Ottawa, Dzingel 8 (Duchene), 10:30. 10, Ottawa, Stone 7 (Ryan, Duchene), 19:48 (pp). Penalties—Joseph, TB, (delay of game), 8:37; Hedman, TB, (tripping), 19:24. Shots on Goal—Ottawa 13-8-13—34. Tampa Bay 11-12-5—28. Power-play opportunities—Ottawa 2 of 4; Tampa Bay 1 of 3. Goalies—Ottawa, Anderson 7-5-3 (28 shots-24 saves). Tampa Bay, Vasilevskiy 9-3-1 (34-28). A—19,092 (19,092). T—2:34. Referees—Frederick L'Ecuyer, Brad Watson. Linesmen—Jonny Murray, Pierre Racicot.