Senators-Lightning Preview

The Tampa Bay Lightning were pleased with their effort despite failing to sweep a three-game trip that began a stretch of six of eight away from home.

They get two chances to build on that performance in California before heading out on the road again, starting with Thursday night's matchup against an Ottawa Senators team that hasn't won in regulation at Amalie Arena in nearly four years.

Tampa Bay (13-12-3) won 2-1 in Anaheim to avoid a third straight loss last Wednesday before holding off San Jose 4-3 on Saturday, scoring its most goals in five games. The Lightning, though, allowed Los Angeles to score twice in a 3:08 span of the second period the next day to conclude their trip with a 3-1 loss.

''I thought we actually played pretty well,'' said Ben Bishop, who replaced backup Andrei Vasilevskiy after he allowed two goals on 10 shots. '' ... It stinks losing the last one and flying home, but it's a good road trip anytime you get four points out there.''

Despite Bishop's positive demeanor, the Lightning had another poor offensive showing in the finale. They went 0 for 6 with the man advantage and rank near the bottom of the NHL with a 16.5 power-play percentage.

Tampa Bay is also among the lowest-scoring teams in the league with 2.32 goals per game after leading the NHL with a 3.16 mark last season.

Help could be on the way against Ottawa (15-8-5) after forward Ondrej Palat practiced for the second time Wednesday since suffering a lower-body injury Nov. 7 at Minnesota. Palat has two goals and five assists in 16 games.

"Anytime you miss a few guys, it hurts special teams. It hurts five on five," center Steven Stamkos told the Lightning's official website. "When you're struggling to score goals, anytime you can get some offensive guys back in the lineup, with the way things have been going, obviously we'll take it."

Stamkos leads Tampa Bay with 11 goals but has none in six straight games. He's scored four times and added four assists in his last six at home in this series.

Tampa Bay has done a good job of picking up points recently against Ottawa, going 3-0-3 in the last six matchups and 6-1-3 in 10. The Lightning are 5-0-2 in the past seven meetings at home.

The Senators enter this one with three wins in four games following Tuesday's 4-2 victory over Florida in the second stop on a four-game trip. Ottawa trailed 2-1 heading into the third period before scoring three times, including Mike Hoffman's go-ahead goal with 5:37 left.

"We needed that one," center Zack Smith told the Senators' official website after scoring his seventh goal. "These road trips are important. We play a lot of games this month and we want to make sure we're ready to go every night."

Hoffman has 11 goals in his last 11 games and leads Ottawa with 15 after scoring a team-best 27 times last season.

''I don't know, the puck just seems to sometimes get to you and when you're streaking it seems a lot easier,'' said Hoffman, who has been held to one assist in seven games against Tampa Bay.

Bishop is 6-0-3 with a 2.25 goals-against average versus Ottawa, while Craig Anderson - who has started the last 12 games for the Senators - is 7-2-3 with a 1.68 GAA against the Lightning.