OTTAWA — Eight years ago, the Lightning hoped Vladislav Namestnikov would be a potent offensive threat, drafting him in the first round. On Saturday, he scored the winner against them.
The Lightning traded Namestnikov to the Rangers in February 2018 as part of the swap for Ryan McDonagh. On Tuesday, the Rangers sent him to the Senators. He made a quick impact.
Namestnikov had two goals and an assist in the Senators’ 4-2 win over the Lightning.
“He did a lot of good things for us when he played for us,” the Lightning’s Alex Killorn said. “He was a difference-maker in (Saturday’s) game.”
Namestnikov scored on a back-door tap-in on a two-on-one to give Ottawa the final lead late in the third period, then added an empty-netter. Namestnikov also set up the Senators’ second goal with a nice feed to Jean-Gabriel Pageau.
Namestnikov downplayed the effect of playing against his former team, saying it felt good to play well against the Lightning but it wasn’t something he thought much about going into the game.
Previously, Namestnikov had two assists in five games against the Lightning.
He has maintained friendships with former Lightning teammates that go beyond just catching up at the rink after a game. Mikhail Sergachev had referred to New York as one of his favorite cities in part because of the change to go out to dinner with Namestnikov.
On Friday night, Andrei Vasilevskiy posted a photo to Instagram of himself and fellow Russians Sergachev, Nikita Kucherov and Namestnikov with the caption “#squad.”
Contact Diana C. Nearhos at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @dianacnearhos.