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Tampa Bay Lightning
Washington
Capitals
54-15-13
Tampa Bay
Lightning
34-36-12

game recap

Washington Capitals 3, Tampa Bay Lightning 1

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:48 AM

Lonnie Herman - TBL.com correspondent

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Washington Capitals 3, Tampa Bay Lightning 1
Washington Capitals 3, Tampa Bay Lightning 1

No one among the sellout crowd of 19,844 in the St. Pete Times Forum tonight could fault the effort, but despite putting together one of their strongest all-around games of the season and dominating the Washington Capitals by almost every statistical measure, The Tampa Bay Lightning came up short where it counts the most, on the scoreboard, losing to Washington, 3-1.

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Tampa Bay had the advantage over the NHL leading Capitals in shots (34-28) and scoring chances (22-12 unofficially) and even outhit Washington but except for Vincent Lecavalier’s 22nd goal of the season, the Bolts could not solve Capital netminder Jose Theodore, who stretched his regulation-game winning streak to 18, the longest streak by an NHL goaltender in 10 seasons.

Lecavalier’s goal at 6:54 of the first period, a blast from the slot assisted by Teddy Purcell and Brandon Bochenski, tied the game at 1-1 after Tomas Fleischmann opened the scoring for the Capitals as he converted a pass from just outside the crease to score Washington’s first shot on goal in the game.

Alexander Ovechkin, returning from a two-game suspension, made his presence felt less than four minutes after Lecavalier knotted the game when he slipped behind the Lightning defense, collected a pass that bounced off the boards and skated in alone, beating Lightning netminder Antero Nittymaki. The goal was Ovechkin’s 45th of the season, tying him with Sidney Crosby for the NHL lead.

Tampa Bay then clamped down and produced an outstanding defensive effort, holding the Capitals without a shot on net for almost 15 minutes, which included two Washington power plays. For the game, the Lightning penalty kill was faultless, shutting down the league-leading Capital power play four times.

But the offense, which has generated only five goals in the last four games, was unable to convert despite five extra-man chances, during which the Lightning powered 12 shots on the Washington net.

“Everybody played well,” Lightning forward Martin St. Louis said. “We just couldn’t put the puck in the net. We had power plays and 5-on-5 chances, but we just didn’t bury them. It’s tough but we have to go out and play tomorrow and get a win and go from there.”

Alexander Semin completed the scoring for the Capitals when he knocked in a rebound from just outside the crease to Nittymaki’s left in the final period.

“Tonight’s effort was excellent,” Lightning head coach Rick Toccet said. “The guys worked really hard.”

scoring summary
1st Period
02:40
WSH
Tomas Fleischmann (21) ASST: Eric Fehr (16), David Steckel (9)
1 - 0 WSH
06:54
TBL
Vincent Lecavalier (22) ASST: Teddy Purcell (8), Brandon Bochenski (8)
1 - 1 Tie
10:47
WSH
Alex Ovechkin (45) ASST: Nicklas Backstrom (59)
2 - 1 WSH
2nd Period
NONE
3rd Period
07:20
WSH
Alexander Semin (33) ASST: Brooks Laich (32), Brendan Morrison (29)
3 - 1 WSH
penalty summary
1st Period
03:23
WSH
Mike Green  Hooking against  Martin St. Louis
08:13
WSH
John Carlson  Holding against  Steven Stamkos
17:10
TBL
Mike Lundin  Holding against  Nicklas Backstrom
18:59
TBL
Paul Szczechura  Tripping against  Alex Ovechkin
19:58
WSH
Eric Fehr  Too many men/ice - bench
2nd Period
02:49
WSH
Scott Walker  Fighting (maj) against  Zenon Konopka
02:49
TBL
Zenon Konopka  Fighting (maj) against  Scott Walker
12:03
WSH
John Erskine  Boarding against  Nate Thompson
12:50
TBL
Vincent Lecavalier  Hooking against  Shaone Morrisonn
12:50
WSH
Tom Poti  Roughing against  Steve Downie
15:39
TBL
Stephane Veilleux  Hi-sticking against  Eric Fehr
18:31
WSH
Eric Fehr  Boarding against  Steve Downie
3rd Period
18:08
TBL
Steve Downie  Roughing against  David Steckel
goalie stats
Jose Theodore
Jose Theodore
26-7-6
SA: 34TOI: 59:28
Saves: 33EV: 19 - 20
PIM: 0PP: 12 - 12
SV%: .971SH: 2 - 2
Antero Niittymaki
SA: 28TOI: 59:49
Saves: 25EV: 20 - 23
PIM: 0PP: 5 - 5
SV%: .893SH: 0 - 0