Lightning Discharged by Capitals, 5-2
Stamkos, St. Louis Score for Tampa Bay
For two periods the Lightning slugged it out toe-to-toe with the Washington Capitals, but the third period belonged to Washington as they scored three unanswered goals to defeat Tampa Bay, 5-2.
Alex Ovechkin got his first of three points on the evening when he opened the scoring at 7:43 of the first period with a blast past Lightning goaltender Mike McKenna from the top of the left faceoff circle as the teams skated 4-on-4. The goal was number 50 for Ovechkin on the season, a milestone as he becomes Washington’s first three-time 50 goal scorer.
With just over two minutes remaining in the period, Tampa Bay took advantage of a power play opportunity and knotted the score when Steven Stamkos
fired a rebound of a shot by Vincent Lecavalier
past Capital netminder Simeon Varlamov. The goal was number 16 for Stamkos and extends his scoring streak to four games. Defenseman Matt Lashoff was credited with an assist on the goal, his first point as a member of the Lightning.
“The last six weeks his game has elevated,” interim Lightning head coach Rick Tocchet said of Stamkos. “The guy is going to be a special player.”
The scoring wasn’t over in period one yet, as Washington regained the lead with only 10 seconds remaining in the stanza when defenseman Mike Green notched his first of two goals on the night. His shot from the left faceoff circle beat Mckenna high over his glove hand.
Despite matching the Capitals on shots at the conclusion of period one, nine shots each, Washington held the advantage on the scoreboard, 2-1.
Both teams played evenly throughout the second period until Tampa Bay finally tied the score at 15:54. Team leading scorer Martin St. Louis
got credit for the score, his 27th of the season, assisted by Ryan Malone
and Lashoff, who collected his second point of the night. With the goal, St. Louis tied a team season high with a point in his seventh consecutive game.
It didn’t take the potent offense of the Capitals long to get rolling in period three.
Mike Green picked up his second goal of the game just 1:43 into the final period when he took a pass from behind the Lightning net, skated into the slot, and beat McKenna.
Washington struck again at 7:38 while Stamkos was in the penalty box for tripping. Skating on their fourth power play attempt, Michael Nylander’s shot from a difficult angle along the goal line got past Mckenna to make the score 4-2 in favor of the Capitals.
The Capitals finished the scoring for the night at 12:26 when Matt Bradley popped the puck over a sprawling McKenna.
Tampa Bay almost matched the Capitals in shots for the game, falling just two shots short, 30 to 28, and they stayed even with Washington through two periods, but two periods isn’t enough as the Capitals skated off with the win, 5-2.
The Lightning homestand continues on Saturday night when the Atlanta Flames come to town, followed by the Columbus Bluejackets on Tuesday.
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