Game Preview: Lightning @ Capitals

Lightning @ Capitals Game Graphic

After a tough 4-game road trip where the Capitals finished with a 2-1-1 record, the Capitals return home briefly on Tuesday evening for a matchup with the Tampa Bay Lightning.  The Capitals are hoping to keep their winning streak alive after they defeated the Buffalo Sabres 3-2 on President’s Day.  Puck drop is at 7 PM ET on NBC Sports Washington.


The Lightning have been one of the NHL’s hottest teams all season, up until recent weeks.  The Lightning have gone 5-5 in their last 10 games, and went 1-3 last week as they suffered losses to Toronto, Buffalo, and New Jersey.  The Lightning’s matchup with the Capitals begins a 3-game road trip for their club.  With Boston lurking right behind Tampa in the Atlantic Division standings, the Lightning have no room for error, as they continue to fight for the Division’s top spot.

After going goal-less for 11 straight games in mid-January to early February, Nikita Kucherov has started to heat back up for the Lightning.  He has recorded 4 goals and 11 points in his last 6 games.  Kucherov is leading the NHL’s scoring race with 77 points.

The Lightning have a very potent powerplay that is clicking at 24.5% effectiveness, 2nd in the NHL.  While their powerplay is very good, their penalty kill is ranked at 78.1% effectiveness, 24th in the NHL.  The Lightning have the NHL’s top team goal differential at +52.

Lightning GM Steve Yzerman will be a very busy man before the NHL’s Trade Deadline on February 26.  Rumors are swirling with the Lightning possibly going after a top defenseman before Trade Deadline.  They have been rumored in the Mike Green and Ryan McDonagh sweeps.  Yzerman will not disappoint, as he usually likes to make big splashes around this time of year.


After delivering an absolute dud performance in Chicago, the Capitals responded on President’s Day with a 3-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center.

In addition to a big win on President’s Day, the Capitals made a transaction earlier in the day, as they acquired defenseman Michal Kempny from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for a third-round pick.

Kempny, 27, is a left-handed shot defenseman from the Czech Republic.  He recorded 1 goal and 7 points in 31 games for the Blackhawks.  He is expected to play against the Lightning on Tuesday night.  Expect him to slot into the lineup and be paired with John Carlson.

Alex Ovechkin continues to tear up the score sheet for the Capitals.  He recorded his 35th goal of the season against Buffalo.  He has recorded 3 goals and 8 points in his last 5 games.

Since Philipp Grubauer got the start in Buffalo, expect Braden Holtby to return to the starter’s net against the Tampa Bay Lightning.


Here is what Barry Trotz had to say about Michal Kempny:


The Lightning and Capitals last faced off against each other on November 24 at Capital One Arena.  The Capitals took a 3-1 victory that night.

By: George Foussekis

About George Foussekis

I am a sports fanatic. I love hockey and football, and I enjoy writing about my two favorite sports. I am a proud Old Dominion University alum.
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2 Responses to Game Preview: Lightning @ Capitals

  1. Pingback: News and Notes from Tuesday’s Capitals Optional Skate at Kettler: There’s a New Defenseman in Town | NoVa Caps

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