Alex Ovechkin's stellar play has earned him a spot in the starting lineup for the NHL All-Star game, but it hasn't been enough to give the Washington Capitals much success against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Ovechkin looks to continue his goal-scoring streak against the Lightning as the Capitals try to even the season series with their Southeast Division rivals on Thursday.
Washington (19-17-7) has won three straight as it begins a four-game road trip, but is 1-2-0 against Tampa Bay (21-21-2) this season.
Ovechkin, though, has scored one goal in each of those three contests. He has a five-game point streak versus the Lightning, and eight goals and 15 points in 11 career games against Tampa Bay.
The 21-year-old forward had two goals and an assist Tuesday night in a 6-2 victory that gave the Capitals the franchise's first season sweep of Philadelphia.
Ovechkin, who leads the league with 28 goals, is the first Capitals player to be voted an All-Star starter since Rod Langway in 1986.
"I'm happy," said Ovechkin, last season's rookie of the year who has 12 goals and 32 points in his last 18 games. "It's a big honor for me, and for Capitals hockey and for Russian hockey, too."
Washington will be trying to match its longest winning streak of the season Thursday. The Capitals, who won four straight from Nov. 28-Dec. 6, have outscored opponents 14-5 during their current run.
Capitals defenseman Ben Clymer scored his fifth goal of the season Tuesday. Two of his seven assists this season were in a 5-4 loss to Tampa Bay on Dec. 19 in the last meeting between these teams.
That victory began a stretch of seven wins in 11 games for the Lightning.
Martin St. Louis had a goal and two assists, helping Tampa Bay beat Pittsburgh 3-2 on Tuesday night. St. Louis has four goals and 11 points during an eight-game point streak.
The Lightning have won two straight, both against the Penguins.
"We need to get on a run," said St. Louis, who has three goals and four points against Washington this season. "Winning two in a row is a start."
Vincent Lecavalier and Andreas Karlsson also scored Tuesday for Tampa Bay. Karlsson extended the Lightning's lead to 3-1 in the third period with his first goal in 19 games.
"I guess the formula is to try and get everyone to contribute offensively and defensively," Tampa Bay coach John Tortorella said.
Lecavalier has three goals and five points in three games against the Capitals this season.
Lightning captain Tim Taylor missed Tuesday's game with a lower-body injury and his status for this contest is uncertain.
Washington is in third place in the Southeast Division, one point ahead of the Tampa Bay.
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