Lightning Fall to Capitals, 4-2
Tuesday, 06.19.2012 / 1:55 AM
Roberts Nets Two Power Play Goals in Losing Effort
Olaf Kolzig played his first game as a member of the Washington Capitals in October, 1989, and then stuck around to play 710 more. Along the way, he gathered in a Vezina Trophy and an all-star berth and won 301 games.
Tonight, in his first game against his former team, he received a warm welcome from the appreciative fans, but was greeted more rudely by his former teammates, as the Capitals powered to a 3-0 lead over Tampa Bay in the opening period.
Washington got on the board with their first shot on goal at 11:20 when defenseman Tom Poti’s shot scooted through traffic and into the Lightning net. The Capital’s second goal came just 1:35 seconds later when defenseman Mike Green joined the rush and scored with a shot from the slot. Washington added goal number three at 16:24 when Eric Fehr beat Kolzig from the faceoff circle to his right.
The Lightning regrouped as the second period began but a pair of penalties slowed their momentum. At 18:34 Marek Malik was called for a hook on Nicklas Backstrom but the Capitals were unable to convert, thanks to a sharp save by Kolzig on Michael Nylander’s point blank attempt.
Washington got their second man advantage of the period at 13:42 when Lukas Krajicek was sent to the penalty box for roughing. Again, Tampa Bay escaped the penalty kill without allowing a goal.
The penalty box finally swung the Lightning’s way when Donald Brashear received four minutes worth of penalties; two for high-sticking and an extra two for unsportsmanlike conduct. Tampa Bay, however, could not get on the scoreboard despite the extended power play.
The Lightning got another chance with the extra man at 15:36 when David Steckel was whistled for interference, and this time they made it pay off as Gary Roberts got his first goal of the season, and his first as a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning, when he muscled the puck into the Capital net off a scramble in front of the crease. Mark Recchi and Martin St. Louis
got the assists.
The march to the penalty box continued in the third period as John Erskine was sent off at 14:58 for interference. The Lightning, looking to cut into the two goal deficit, fired five shots on the Capital net during the power play but could not get one past Washington goaltender Brent Johnson. Johnson, making his fourth straight start in net for the Capitals, stoned Radim Vrbata’s scoring attempt front in front of the crease as the penalty expired.
Tampa Bay had other scoring opportunities in the third, including a St. Louis shot that went just wide, at the halfway mark of the period.
Washington managed to net the insurance goal they needed 15:54, when Alexander Ovechkin tapped in his third goal of the season from in front of Kolzig, off a cross ice pass from Alexander Semin.
The Lightning got one more power play opportunity late in the game when Erskine was called for roughing, and Gary Roberts pocketed his second goal of the night, with assists to Steve Eminger and Mark Recchi. The time of the goal was 19:34.
When the game ended, the Lightning were on the short side of the scoring, 4-2, but they had outshot the Capitals 36 – 30 and the Tampa Bay power play had recorded two scores on five attempts.
Tampa Bay, 5-5-4, will head back into the Sunshine State, but not home yet, as they play the finale in this five game road trip on Wednesday night against their cross-state rivals, the Florida Panthers, in Sunrise.
The Lightning return to the St. Pete Times Forum to face the Detroit Red Wings on November 13th.