Capitals Fall to Tampa Bay Lighting in OT Despite Heroic Effort by Philipp Grubauer

Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images

The Washington Capitals fell to the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3 in overtime, losing two-point leads twice during the game. Lightning forward Brayden Point had the game-winner following a Caps’ penalty for too many men on the ice.  T.J. Oshie picked up two power-play goals and Niklas Backstrom picked up his first tally of the year. The Caps fell to 2-0-1 this year. 


First Period
Scoring: Nicklas Backstrom snapped a puck past Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy at 16:42 of the period after a sweet cross-ice pass through traffic from Andre Burakovsky.  With the goal, Backstrom passed Bobby Carpenter for 8th place on the all-time club’s goal-scoring list with 189. Backstrom is five goals away from passing Dave Christian for 7th on that list.

Just minutes later, TJ Oshie picked up his second tally of the season when he tipped a John Carlson shot from the point on the power play with 1:55 left in the period.

The Good: The Caps backchecked well in the first frame and disrupted Tampa Bay’s offensive rush. The Caps still haven’t allowed a power-play goal this season, turning back 11 opportunities through seven periods this season and only allowed 1 shot on their power play. The Caps blocked seven Tampa Bay shots in the first frame and only gave the puck away twice.

The Bad:  The Lighting had a big advantage in shot attempts (23-14) and faceoffs (61%). The Caps failed to take advantage of 3-on-1 and 4-on-1 opportunities against Vasilevskiy.

The Ugly: Aaron Ness took two penalties in the period, bringing his season total to four penalties in three games. Ness had more PIM (4) than ice time (3:53).

Second Period:
Scoring: Alex Killorn rocketed a shot at 5:28 of the period after the Caps turned the puck over. Brayden Point fed him in the slot to cut the Caps’ lead in half.

T.J. Oshie struck for his second power-play goal of the game after getting a pass in the slot from Nicklas Backstrom to make it 3-1 at 7:49 of the period.

Tampa’s Chris Kunitz deflected a shot from defenseman Anton Stralman at the point with 1:51 left in the period to cut the Washington lead to 3-2.

The Good: The Caps entered the 3rd period converting on two of their three power-play opportunities while killing off all three of Tampa’s man-advantages. Oshie is picking up where he left off last year with his third goal in the last two games. The Caps finished the third period winning 53% of the faceoffs and giving away the puck only five times through two periods. Caps led in blocked shots 11-5 through two periods.

The Bad: The Caps continue to let the Lightning hang around in front of Grubauer. While he successfully stopped a number of shots through screens, Tampa inevitably cashed in on the Kunitz deflection.

The Ugly: The first Tampa goal was off another turnover from Dmitry Orlov.

Third Period
Scoring: Nikita Kucherov tied the game for the Lightning with 9:14 left, beating defenseman Taylor Chorney and goaltender Phillipp Grubauer top shelf.

The Good: Grubauer kept the Caps in the game, including a series of stops against a non-stop barrage by Tampa Bay during an early-period power play.  The Caps maintained a perfect penalty kill perfect for the year. Grubi stopped 14 shots out of 15 in the 3rd period.

The Bad: Paging Andre Burakovsky: having been identified by several NHL analysts as a breakout candidate for the Caps, Burakovsky was held without a shot on goal and has only 3 shots in 3 games so far this year. Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and Jakub Vrana were each a -2 tonight.

The Ugly: The Caps offense disappeared in the third. The Lightning had 12 straight shots and 17 in the 3rd period alone. The Caps only had 6 shots in the third period.

Overtime Scoring: Brayden Point won the game in overtime, tipping in a shot by Nikita Kucherov on the power play. Point struck 3:08 into the extra session to give Tampa Bay the victory.

Game Stats:
Shots:                  Capitals –  26         Lightning – 41
Power Play:        Capitals – 2/4        Lightning – 0/5
Faceoffs:             Capitals – 50%      Lightning – 50%
Hits:                     Capitals – 14         Lightning – 18

Up next: The Capitals host Rivalry Night on Wednesday as they welcome rival Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins, who are 1-1-1 so far this season and coming off a 4-0 victory over the defending Western Conference Champion Nashville Predators on Saturday night. This will be the first time these teams will meet since Pittsburgh defeated Washington in seven games in the postseason last year. The Capitals will be at home before taking the road for a back-to-back set of games at the New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia Flyers over the weekend.

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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