DeBrincat, Tkachuk score two apiece as Senators rout Lightning 7-2
OTTAWA — Alex DeBrincat scored twice and added an assist in leading the Ottawa Senators to a 7-2 rout of the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday.
Brady Tkachuk, with two goals, Derick Brassard, Erik Brannstrom and Austin Watson added the others for Ottawa (35-32-5). Mads Sogaard made 27 saves.
The victory marks Ottawa’s first 35-win season since the 2015-16 campaign.
Brayden Point and Mikhail Sergachev scored for Tampa Bay (42-25-6). Brian Elliott stopped 28 shots.
The Lightning are on a three-game losing streak, having been outscored 15-6 through the stretch.
Sergachev made it a one-goal game for Tampa Bay 4:10 into the third period with a power-play marker.
But less than two minutes later, Brannstrom had a beautiful end-to-end rush culminating with a shot into the top corner to make it 4-2 for Ottawa.
Things went downhill from that point on for the Lightning.
Tkachuk padded the Senators' edge with a power-play goal at 13:11 and added an empty-net goal 24 seconds later.
Watson closed the scoring at 14:39 when he spun around and saw his shot beat Elliott.
Trailing 2-0 to start the second, the Lightning cut the deficit in half when Point beat Sogaard on a one-timer from the left faceoff circle.
Ottawa restored its two-goal lead with 1:56 remaining in the period when Brassard scored a power-play goal just as the man advantage was about to expire.
DeBrincat opened the scoring 8:53 into the first period when he took a Drake Batherson pass off the rush and beat Elliott far side.
Just under three minutes later, DeBrincat raced up the ice, spun around to maintain possession and let a shot go that went over Elliot's shoulder and in.
Senators forward Tim Stutzle had one assist in his 200th NHL game Thursday night. He ranks fifth all time in points (115) through the first 200 games of a career.
Ottawa came to terms with defenceman Tyler Kleven on a three-year entry-level contract Thursday. Kleven recently completed his junior year with the University of North Dakota where he had eight goals and 10 assists through 35 games. … Nick Holden and Julien Gauthier were a healthy scratch for the Senators. … Thursday marked the first time Nick Paul returned to Ottawa since being traded last year.
The Senators head to New Jersey to take on the Devils on Saturday.
The Lightning will take on the Boston Bruins Saturday night.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 23, 2023.
Lisa Wallace, The Canadian Press