TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Milan Michalek surpassed the 30-goal mark for the first time in his career in an unusual way.
Michalek scored three third-period goals, helping the Ottawa Senators withstand a Tampa Bay comeback attempt and beat the Lightning 7-3 on Tuesday night.
Ottawa, which took a three-goal lead early on, went up 5-3 when Michalek scored a power-play goal at 12:12 of third. The left wing added two empty-net goals, including a short-handed effort with 7 seconds left to give him a career-best 32 goals this season.
``That's great for him,' Senators coach Paul MacLean said. ``I think he's always been a player of that potential and the injuries that he's had kind of slowed him down. We're really happy for him. To reach that plateau, it's really a credit to him and his hard work.'
Michalek's previous high for goals was 26, set while with San Jose in 2006-07. He also had a hat trick against Tampa Bay on Oct. 15, 2009.
Tampa Bay got within 4-3 when Steven Stamkos scored his league-leading 48th goal of the season during a power play at 5:41 of the third. The center has five goals and three assists during a five-game point streak.
Sergei Gonchar, Colin Greening, Kyle Turris and Erik Karlsson had the other Ottawa goals. Michalek also had an assist, setting up Greening's goal with a nifty pass from behind the net.
Senators defenseman Chris Phillips left in the first with a broken nose after a center-ice hit.
``Right now, it's open to evaluation,' MacLean said. ``He had to get it reset. We'll just to see how he gets through it.'
Ryan Shannon and Tim Wallace also scored for the Lightning, who had won four in a row. Teddy Purcell assisted on Stamkos' goal and has 14 assists and 20 points during a career-high 10-game point streak.
Tampa Bay goalie Mathieu Garon left four minutes into the game with an undisclosed lower body injury after making a save and was replaced by Dwayne Roloson. Garon, who had gone 12-3-2 in his previous 17 starts, appeared to get hurt when he kicked out his leg on the play.
Lightning coach Guy Boucher said Garon will have an MRI on Wednesday.
``He's been playing well for us,' Stamkos said. ``It was tough.'
Greening and Turris scored 53 seconds apart late in the first as Ottawa took a 3-0 lead. Greening scored from the low slot, while Turris' shot went off Tampa Bay defenseman Brett Clark.
Gonchar stopped a personal 43-game goal drought, dating back to Nov. 12 against Toronto, to put Senators up 1-0 midway through the first.
The Lightning got within 3-2 in the opening 7:12 of the second when Shannon and Wallace scored on 6-foot-7 Ben Bishop, who was making his Senators debut. Bishop was acquired from St. Louis for a 2013 second-round draft pick on Feb. 26.
``When they score seven goals, it helps,' said Bishop, who made 25 saves. ``The guys played good in front of me.'
Karlsson made it 4-2 on a power-play goal at 11:58 of the second. The defenseman has 16 goals and 67 points this season.
The Senators won the season series 4-0, outscoring Tampa Bay 19-6.
``We can't seem to beat those guys,' Boucher said.
Ottawa is without goalie Craig Anderson, who is sidelined by a hand injury. He won all three of the Senators' previous games this season with the Lightning, allowing just three goals overall.
Notes: Boucher feels both Ottawa power-play goals came after plays that should have not resulted in penalties. ... Roloson finished with 25 saves. ... The NHL fined Karlsson $2,500 for slashing Florida's Sean Bergenheim during a game on Sunday. ... Tampa Bay D Victor Hedman was in the lineup after missing four games due to an upper body injury. ... In 10 games against Tampa Bay, Anderson is 6-1-2 with three shutouts and an 1.24 goals-against-average. ... Lightning D Marc-Andre Bergeron is scheduled to have back surgery on Wednesday. ... Shannon's goal was his first in 19 games.
The Associated Press News Service
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