Capitals Rally to Beat Bolts 5-3


Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images

The Washington Capitals rallied to beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-3 on Friday night at Verizon Center.  The Capitals trailed 3-0, before registering five unanswered goals for the impressive comeback win.

This was the third and final regular season meeting between the two teams. The starting lines for the Capitals tonight:


Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images

Offensive Lines:

Defensive Pairs:

The healthy scratches included Connor Carrick and Stanislav Galiev. Coach Trotz reiterated that there’s no timetable for Brooks Orpik. He’s working out, but not skating. Chris Brown was placed on waivers today.

Both teams started with a defensive style to begin the first and second period. Tampa was patient with their chances, which were few, as the Caps outshot the Lightning 9-4 in the first, but trailed 1-0.  The Capitals turned on the afterburners in third period, finishing off an impressive comeback win.  T.J. Oshie and Alex Ovechkin each had a pair of goals in the rally.  Tonight marked the first time the Capitals have erased a three-goal deficit to win in regulation since Oct. 16, 2008 at Pittsburgh.  Nicklas Backstrom earned his 600th NHL point with an assist in the third period and passed Michal Pivonka (599) for fourth place on the Capitals franchise assists list. Jason Chimera tallied an assist in his 900th NHL game. Shots on goal for the game were 23-19 in favor of the Capitals.  The NHL game summary can be found here: Individual players stats for the game can be found here:

A rigid defensive start by both teams at the beginning of this one, with no shots on goal in the first six minutes of play.  Alex Killorn would put the Lightning on the board first at 8:18 mark of the opening frame.


Alex Ovechkin was whistled for the game’s first penalty on an offensive zone interference call at 12:19 of the first period, but the Caps did well on the penalty kill, allowing no shots on goal.  The Capitals would go on their first power play with 3:27 left in the period.  The Caps had several nice chances with 1:39 of offensive zone time, but were unable to cash-in. The first period would end with the Lightning leading 1-0.  The Caps led the first period in SOG 9-4.

Another defensive start by both sides to begin the middle frame.  Andre Burakovsky was called for holding the stick at 3:35, giving the Lightning their second power play of the game. The Caps would kill the power play, holding the Lightning to just three shots.  The Lightning would stretch the lead to 2-0 on a wrister from the right dot by Andrej Sustr.


Steven Stamkos would add to the Lightning lead at the 9:04 mark, giving the Lightning a 3-0 lead.  The goal would send Braden Holtby to the bench, who was replaced by Philipp Grubauer.


But that would be it for the Lightning. Alex Ovechkin would close the gap on a power play goal at the 14:00 mark, making it 3-1 Lightning.


The period would end with the Lightning leading 3-1.  The Caps led in shots on goal, 17-15.

T.J. Oshie would close the gap to 3-2 on a break-away goal that followed spectacular goalie play by Philip Grubauer.


Alex Oveckin would tie it up with 9:58 left in the third period, with a nifty deke and wrister.


But the Caps weren’t done.  Marcus Johanson would give the Caps the lead with 5:44 left in the game.  The goal came at the end of a string of pretty passes, that left MoJo with a wide open net on the right side.


T.J. Oshie would seal the win with one more. The Caps win 5-3.

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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4 Responses to Capitals Rally to Beat Bolts 5-3

  1. Susan Ferguson says:

    How do I get my pic of us with Slapshot Santa from Dec 18 game?

    I know a pic was taken but didn’t heard what the lady said


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