Despite Steven Stamkos' best efforts, the Tampa Bay Lightning aren't generating enough offense to win consistently. Visiting the Ottawa Senators might not help them solve those woes.
As they seek to avoid a third consecutive defeat Monday night, the Senators will try to continue their home dominance of the Lightning, losers of three in a row.
Stamkos' 16 goals once again have him among the NHL leaders, and he's helped himself in the league's points race with five goals and three assists during a six-game streak.
The former Rocket Richard Trophy winner, though, isn't getting much help as Tampa Bay has scored two goals or fewer in nine of its last 11 games. The Lightning (11-12-2) are 4-7-0 over that stretch and have been outscored 11-5 during their current three-game skid.
Tampa Bay led the New York Rangers 2-1 after two periods on Saturday before falling apart in the third in a 4-2 loss. The Lightning were previously 7-0-0 when leading after two periods.
"We obviously didn't do what we had to do. Usually we're a strong team in the third," defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron said. "We're not happy. We've just got to keep moving forward."
Moving forward at Scotiabank Place might prove difficult for Tampa Bay as it's 4-17-4 in its last 25 regular-season visits. The Lightning have also scored two goals or fewer in seven consecutive games in Ottawa.
During the most recent trip there March 19, Tampa Bay blew a two-goal lead and fell 3-2 when Jason Spezza scored with 1:32 remaining in overtime.
Spezza has six goals and six assists during an eight-game point streak against the Lightning and has scored one goal in five consecutive matchups.
The veteran center has three goals and an assist in his last four contests overall, but Ottawa (12-11-3) has opened this month with consecutive defeats. Milan Michalek tied Saturday's game in Washington with 3:15 remaining in regulation, but the Capitals' Brooks Laich scored in overtime to hand the Senators a 3-2 defeat.
After playing nine of 10 on the road, Ottawa has 11 of its next 15 games at home. The Senators will get another visit from the Lightning to end that stretch Jan. 5.
"We've got some important games that we need to be ready for," goaltender Craig Anderson said. "You've got to win your games at home. ... We've got to work on some things and make sure we're ready to go on Monday."
Michalek will try to get the Senators off to a positive start by adding to his goal-scoring binge. The winger has found the net four times in the last three games, but has one goal and one assist over his last five matchups with the Lightning.
He recorded that lone goal in a 5-2 loss in Tampa on March 29. Martin St. Louis and Dominic Moore scored twice in that victory, and Stamkos added an empty-netter.
St. Louis has five goals in his last five games against the Senators, and Stamkos has five goals and five assists in his last seven.
Moore is among the Lightning's slumping players with one goal in 25 games after scoring a career-best 18 in 2010-11. Vincent Lecavalier has four goals and three assists in his last 12 contests and one assist over his past four.