Last 10: Tampa Bay (4-5-1); Washington (7-1-2)
Season Series: The two clubs have traded wins back and forth, but Tampa Bay looks to even up the 2009-10 set at two games apiece tonight with a victory at the Verizon Center. Washington took the first game against the Lightning on Dec. 7 at the St. Pete Times Forum before the Bolts exploded in front of the home crowd for seven goals in a win on Jan. 12. The Capitals, however, picked up two points in the teams’ last meeting on Jan. 31 to take a 2-1 series edge into tonight’s match.
|Jan 31, 2010||TBL@WSH||WSH, 3 - 2|
|Jan 12, 2010||WSH@TBL||TBL, 7 - 4|
|Dec 7, 2009||WSH@TBL||WSH, 3 - 0|
The Big Story: Lightning forward Steven Stamkos became the franchise’s all-time record holder on Tuesday by recording a point for the 14th consecutive game and in doing so, kept pace with Evgeni Malkin for the league’s longest active streak. Stamkos, along with teammate Martin St. Louis, each have five points in three games this season against the Capitals and look to keep the trend going as the team makes its push for the playoffs in which they are just two points out.
LIGHTNING – Tampa Bay travels to the Verizon Center for a brief one-game trip away from home before returning to the St. Pete Times Forum on Saturday for a matchup versus the Thrashers. The team returned to action on Tuesday night following the two-week Olympic hiatus, but fell to the Flyers after bringing a tied game into the third period. Steven Stamkos scored twice and moved into third place on the NHL’s list of goal leaders with his 36th and 37th of the season. One of those goals came off a feed from Steve Downie, who moved his career-high point streak to eight games. The Bolts also added some depth at the forward position, acquiring Teddy Purcell at the trade deadline in exchange for Jeff Halpern.
CAPITALS – Tonight’s contest marks the final half of a back-to-back set which began last night in Buffalo. The Capitals won for the first time since Feb. 7, erasing a three-game losing streak that went into the Olympic break, with a 3-1 victory at the HSBC Center. Jason Chimera and Boyd Gordon each had a goal, and Mike Green snapped a third-period tie as Washington earned its conference-best 19th win on the road. Washington also bolstered its roster at yesterday’s deadline, acquiring Milan Jurcina, Eric Belanger, Joe Corvo and Scott Walker.
Who’s Hot: Steven Stamkos enters tonight with the league’s longest active point streak at 14 games in which he has amassed 12 goals and 13 assists over that span. Linemate Steve Downie has totaled 11 points over his eight-game streak and Martin St. Louis has recorded at least a point in 10 out of his last 11 matches.
Washington’s Alex Ovechkin has totaled 19 points in his last 11 games, while Mike Green has nine points, including six assists, in his last six. Alexander Semin also has recorded seven points in his last four contests for the Capitals.
Injury Report: LIGHTNING – David Hale (lower body, placed on Injured Reserve). CAPTIALS – None.
Quotable: “It was fun. Those are the games you always dream about playing as a kid, and to have the opportunity and to play over there was great; just a typical playoff-type atmosphere with their whole country cheering for them. To have that short of a tournament is a little different than the playoffs, and to have such a grueling schedule as that is. Just to have that group of guys coming together as a group so fast was awesome.” – Lightning forward Ryan Malone on his Olympic experience in which he brought home a silver medal.
tampabaylightning.com is the official Web site of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Tampa Bay Lightning and tampabaylightning.com are trademarks of Lightning Hockey L.P. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2013 Lightning Hockey, L.P. and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.