Originally created 04/22/06

Senators rally past Lightning in opener

OTTAWA - Martin Havlat and Jason Spezza scored power-play goals 1:07 apart early in the third period and Mike Fisher added a short-handed goal as the Ottawa Senators rallied to a 4-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning in the opener of the Eastern Conference playoff series Friday night.

Daniel Alfredsson scored into an empty net with 1:02 remaining and Ray Emery made 35 saves for the Senators in his postseason debut. Game 2 of the best-of-seven series will be Sunday in Ottawa.

Emery, who drew an assist on Spezza's go-ahead goal 6:13 into the third, has carried the load for the Senators since Dominik Hasek was injured during the Olympics. He won 12 games in March to tie an NHL record for wins in a month.

Vincent Lecavalier opened the scoring on a two-man advantage late in the first and Tampa Bay - which outshot Ottawa 16-11 in a fast-paced opening period - held a 1-0 lead through 40 minutes.

Havlat, limited to 18 games this season because of injuries, tied it during Ottawa's fifth power play at 5:06 of the third.

The Czech forward deked Lightning goalie John Grahame and fired a shot over his outstretched right pad. Havlat then skated to the left corner and jumped into the boards, banging his gloves against the glass as fans jumped to their feet to create a sea of red jerseys, shirts, jackets and Thunderstix in the crowd.

Spezza assisted on Havlat's goal and gave the Senators a 2-1 lead moments later, beating Grahame over his left shoulder with a sharp-angled shot for Ottawa's second straight power-play goal.

PRESIDENT WITH A PLAN: Dean Lombardi considers himself a team constructor. He plans more of a remodeling job in Los Angeles as the new president and general manager of the Kings.

Lombardi, introduced at a news conference on Friday, said he doesn't intend to dismantle the Kings. His goal is to improve what is already there and add more talent.

"I chose the Kings for a number of reasons. First off, I'm a builder, and I see the foundation put in place by Dave Taylor," he said. "People sometimes come in and make things look as bad as possible, to paint themselves as heroes.

"But that's not the case here."

Talking about Anschutz Entertainment Group, the Kings' owner, Lombardi said, "They build things right."

The 45-year-old Lombardi started almost from the ground up in San Jose, when he took over as GM in 1996 and transformed the expansion Sharks - who had won more than 20 games only once in five seasons - into an improving team that won one division title and twice reached the second round of the playoffs.

He was let go in 2003, however, when the Sharks went into a tailspin.


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