Photo: Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images
The Washington Capitals beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-1 on Friday night at Capital One Arena. The win raised the Capitals record to 13-10-1. The Capitals depart for Canada immediately following the game for a tilt with the Maple Leafs in Toronto on Saturday. Puck drop is 7:00 PM.
Philipp Grubauer got the start in goal for the Capitals. Braden Holtby will likely get the start tomorrow in Toronto. Andrei Vasilevskiy got the nod for the Lightning. The Capitals forward lines and defensive pairs for the contest:
Tyler Graovac, recalled from Hershey on Friday, Aaron Ness and Nathan Walker were the healthy scratches for the game.
The Capitals were whistled for the game’s first penalty just 44 seconds into the game, giving the league’s best power play an early go, and the Lightning would capitalize. Vladislav Namestnikov would strike at the 1:22 mark, giving Tampa Bay an early 1-0 lead.
Although facing the early deficit, the Capitals outskated and outshot the Lightning for a majority of the period, leading in shots on goal 10-6 with 6:33 left in the opening frame.
The Capitals would be awarded their first man-advantage with 6:33 left in the first period. The Capitals had several chances but could not find the back of the net.
The Capitals would finally benefit from their aggressive play with a beautiful goal by the top line, with Alex Ovechkin on the finish at 18:36 of the first period.
John Walton with the call on Caps Radio:
The period would end tied 1-1. The Capitals outshot the Lightning 16-7 for the opening frame. The Capitals won the faceoff battle 65-35%, and outhit Tampa Bay 12-6 for the opening frame.
More of an even start to the middle frame, with the Lightning leading 2-0 in shots on goal after the first five minutes of play. Tampa Bay began to tilt the ice in their favor during the middle parts of the middle frame.
The Capitals would be the benefactors of the first power play of the second period, but Washington was unable to capitalize on the initial man-advantage. The Capitals would quickly return to the power play moments later but were unable to find any decent pressure.
Devante Smith-Pelly would finally give the Capitals the lead on a close-range score at 14:35 of the second stanza.
John Walton with the call:
The period would end with the Capitals holding on to a 2-1 lead. The Capitals outshot the Lightning 14-9 for the second period and led 30-16 after two periods of play. The Capitals led in faceoffs 68-32% through two periods of play.
The Capitals fell into more of a defensive approach for the first half of the final frame, with the Lightning leading 7-0 in shots on goal after 10 minutes of play.
The Lightning would be awarded the first power play of the third period on a high sticking call on Evgeny Kuznetsov at the 11:06 mark, but the Capitals penalty kill would come up strong and not allow a shot on goal.
Jay Beagle would add an empty net goal at the 17:52 mark to make it 3-1, and that would be the final.
John Walton with the call:
- Philipp Grubauer stopped 25 of the 26 shots, including 21 of 21 at even strength to earn his first of the season.
- Nicklas Backstrom assisted on Ovechkin’s goal. That’s the 219th time Backstrom has assisted on an Ovechkin goal. Backstrom has factored into 38.22 percent of Ovechkin’s goals in his career.
- Jay Beagle recorded an assist on Smith-Pelly’s goal. That marked Beagle’s 100th career NHL/Capitals point (46g, 54a).
- Beagle also recorded his third goal of the season and won 14 of his 17 face-offs (82 percent), the most face-off wins by a player in a single game this season and the eighth time this season Beagle had led the team in face-off wins.
- Tonight’s attendance was 18,506, the Capitals 375th consecutive sellout at Capital One Arena.
- NHL box score is here.
By Jon Sorensen
SCENES FROM THE DISTRICT
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