Capitals 4, Lightning 3

Peter Pupello  - Lightning Beat Reporter | Thursday, 02.14.2013 / 10:51 PM

Not even the energy of a fired up home sellout crowd of 19,204 could help overturn the Tampa Bay Lightning’s recent struggles.

Martin St. Louis, Teddy Purcell and Nate Thompson each had goals for Tampa Bay, and Mathieu Garon made 35 saves, but in a 4-3 loss to the Washington Capitals at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on Thursday night.

The loss brought the Lightning’s winless streak to a season-high six games, while Washington won its third straight.

“It wasn’t a lack of focus or a lack of positive vibes or anything like that,” Lightning head coach Guy Boucher said. “You can’t go pointing fingers, it’s just the reality is you can’t re-create that sense of urgency at the beginning of the game at the end of the game. So, it’s tough.”

In similar fashion to Tuesday night’s valiant comeback effort that forced overtime and allowed the Bolts to collect a crucial standings point after erasing a three-goal deficit, it appeared that Tampa Bay was in a position to give an encore performance.

With the Capitals out to a commanding 4-1 lead with approximately eight minutes to play, Purcell cut the deficit to two after he threw a puck on net from the side of the cage at 12:02 of the final frame.

Thompson then beat Braden Holtby, who was out of position, just 4:45 later by making a nifty backhand move and converting on a breakaway to bring the Lightning to within one.

The Lightning controlled possession in the offensive zone within the game’s final minute, and even had the extra attacker on after Garon skated to the bench, but Tampa Bay couldn’t find the equalizer to send the game into overtime for a second time in as many tries.

Eric Fehr had two goals for Washington, and Troy Brouwer and Jay Beagle also scored for the Capitals, which improved to 5-8-1.

Mathieu Perreault added three assists in the win, while Hotlby made 27 saves.

“It was a good start for our team,” Brouwer said. “We gave them some opportunities at the end, but overall I thought all our guys played hard.”

Brouwer didn’t take long to open the scoring, tapping home a feed from Perreault while on the power play to put Washington up 1-0 just 2:40 following the opening puck drop.

St. Louis tied it when he whacked home a puck past Holtby’s pad from the side of the net that made it 1-1 approximately midway through the period.

The Capitals went on though to score three times unanswered, getting a goal from Fehr in the second period before a pair of additional tallies in the final frame gave Washington a 4-1 lead.

“Right now we’re fighting mentally and emotionally,” Boucher added. “But our dedication, and our work ethic, it’s there.”

Scoring Summary
1st Period
02:40WSH PPG - Troy Brouwer (7) ASST: Mathieu Perreault (2), Nicklas Backstrom (10) 1 - 0 WSH
08:23TBL Martin St. Louis (4) ASST: Benoit Pouliot (5), Vincent Lecavalier (9) 1 - 1 Tie
2nd Period
05:09WSH Eric Fehr (2) ASST: Mathieu Perreault (3), Joel Ward (6) 2 - 1 WSH
3rd Period
02:22WSH Eric Fehr (3) ASST: Mathieu Perreault (4), John Carlson (4) 3 - 1 WSH
07:29WSH Jay Beagle (1) ASST: Jeff Schultz (2), Tomas Kundratek (4) 4 - 1 WSH
12:02TBL Teddy Purcell (3) ASST: Steven Stamkos (11) 4 - 2 WSH
16:47TBL Nate Thompson (3) ASST: Martin St. Louis (15) 4 - 3 WSH
Three Stars of the Game
Eric Fehr
Eric Fehr
G: 2Shots: 2
A: 0Hits: 1
PTS: 2PIM: 0
+/-: 1TOI: 13:17
Mathieu Perreault
Mathieu Perreault
G: 0Shots: 1
A: 3Hits: 0
PTS: 3PIM: 0
+/-: 1TOI: 11:46
Nate Thompson
Nate Thompson
G: 1Shots: 3
A: 0Hits: 3
PTS: 1PIM: 0
+/-: 1TOI: 15:51
Penalty Summary
1st Period
01:42TBL Victor Hedman  Hooking against  Alex Ovechkin
09:07WSH Mike Green  Holding against  Tom Pyatt
09:07WSH Matt Hendricks  Unsportsmanlike conduct against  Keith Aulie
09:07TBL Keith Aulie  Roughing against  Matt Hendricks
2nd Period
3rd Period
09:29WSH John Carlson  Interference against  Cory Conacher
shots by period
Team Stats
Power Plays1/10/2
Faceoff Wins3629
Blocked Shots918
Penalty Minutes64
4J. ErskineD0013023:42
8A. OvechkinL00-25019:30
9M. RibeiroC00-21017:19
15J. CrabbR001108:06
16E. FehrC2012013:17
17W. WolskiL0002018:37
19N. BackstromC0102020:15
20T. BrouwerR1004019:26
25J. ChimeraL00-23014:56
26M. HendricksL001229:42
27K. AlznerD00-11026:14
36T. KundratekD0102012:34
42J. WardR0111013:06
52M. GreenD00-12225:34
55J. SchultzD010109:26
74J. CarlsonD0113222:10
83J. BeagleR1013010:20
85M. PerreaultC0311011:46
70B. Holtby2730.90060:00
2E. BrewerD0012022:56
3K. AulieD00-10210:57
4V. LecavalierC0114020:43
6S. SaloD0012023:39
11T. PyattC00-12011:05
15B. LeeD00-31013:45
16T. PurcellL10-13017:31
17A. KillornC00-10010:25
18A. HallR0001010:22
19B. CrombeenR0000011:34
25M. CarleD0011022:19
26M. St. LouisR1134022:03
44N. ThompsonC1013015:51
67B. PouliotL0120014:55
71R. PanikL00-1108:32
77V. HedmanD0012223:29
89C. ConacherC00-22016:56
91S. StamkosC01-12023:06
32M. Garon3539.89758:54