Captain Steven Stamkos expects to play in his 400th career game Monday as his Tampa Bay Lightning look to extend their point streak to nine contests when they host the struggling Ottawa Senators. The Lightning have suffered only one regulation loss in nine games since Stamkos’ return from a broken leg, and the 24-year-old center has scored six times while helping revive a dormant power play. Tampa Bay has won four straight home meetings with Ottawa, which is stumbling out of the playoff race with a 1-6-2 slide.
The Lightning own a one-point lead over Montreal for second place in the Atlantic Division with a game in hand and play eight of the last 11 at home, where they are 20-8-5. Tampa Bay is averaging almost four goals over the last eight contests, and Valtteri Filppula has been a big part of that with a career-best eight-game point streak. Meanwhile, Ottawa has yielded a total of 28 tallies in its last six games.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, RSN East, TVA (Ottawa), Sun Sports (Tampa Bay)
ABOUT THE SENATORS (28-29-13): Captain Jason Spezza was kept off the scoresheet in the 3-1 loss at Dallas on Saturday but has done his best to keep the Senators alive in the playoff chase with 19 points in his last 14 games. Defenseman Erik Karlsson leads the team with 65 points and has at least one in six straight contests, including a goal and an assist in the 5-4 loss to the Lightning on Thursday. Leading goal scorer Bobby Ryan (23) left Saturday's game with a lower-body injury and his status for Monday is uncertain.
ABOUT THE LIGHTNING (39-24-8): Stamkos and Filppula have combined for five goals to lead the resurgence of the power play, which is 7-for-22 over the last six games after going 3-for-37 in the previous 15 contests. Stamkos has scored 20 goals in 26 games overall this season while Filppula leads the team’s active skaters with 53 points - the second-most in his career. Ben Bishop did not play in Saturday's 4-3 overtime loss at Pittsburgh but is 4-0-0 against the Senators since being acquired from them last year.
1. Stamkos has recorded 228 goals - 78 on the power play - and 418 points in his first 399 career games.
2. Ottawa is 29th in the league in goals-against average (3.30) after finishing the 2012-13 season second-best at 2.08.
3. Tampa Bay has gotten a total of six goals from five different defensemen over the last eight games.
PREDICTION: Lightning 5, Senators 2