The Washington Capitals fell to the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-2 Tuesday night at Capital One Arena. The Lightning would strike three times in the opening frame for a decisive 3-0 lead at the first intermission. Lars Eller would get the Caps on the scoreboard midway through the middle frame to make it 3-1 after 40 minutes of play. Alex Ovechkin would close the gap to one in the middle of the third period but the Lightning would quickly answer, making it 4-2. The Caps return to action Thursday night when they visit the Panthers in Florida. Puck drop is 7:30 PM.
Braden Holtby (28-11-4, 2.92 GAA, .911 sv%) started in goal for the Capitals. Andrei Vasilevskiy (34-12-2, 2.34 GAA, .927sv%) got the start between the pies for the Lightning. The starting forward lines and defensive pairs for the Capitals:
Scratches: Alex Chiasson and Michal Kempny were the healthy scratches for the game.
Brett Connolly was whistled for a penalty 34 seconds into the game, and it would cost the Caps. The Lightning started the scoring with a power play goal by Brayden Point at 2:30 of the opening frame. The goal was scored on the Lightning’s first shot of the game.
The Lightning would make it 2-0 with a deflected goal by Chris Kunitz at 16:00 of the first period.
The Lightning would make it 3-0 on a break away goal by Brayden Point at 17:52 of the opening frame.
The period would conclude with Tampa Bay leading 3-0. Tampa Bay outshot Washington 9-8 for the first 20 minutes.
The Capitals would get on the scoreboard with a power play goal by Lars Eller at 9:32 of the middle frame. Dmitry Orlov and Brett Connolly were credited with the helpers.
That would be all of the scoring for the middle frame. The Capitals led in shots on goal 14-5 for the second period and 22-13 after 40 minutes of play. Tampa Bay won the faceoff battle 56-44% after the first two periods.
The Capitals would make it 3-2 with a goal from Alex Ovechkin at 11:02 of the final frame. This was Ovechkin’s 36th of the season.
But the Lightning would get it right back. Nikita Kucherov would beat Braden Holtby 5-hole on a break away to restore the two goal lead, 4-2, at 12:58 of the final period.
Tampa would hang on for the 4-2 win.
- The Capitals dropped to 20-9-2 at Capital One Arena this season. Washington’s 20 home wins are tied for the fifth most in the NHL.
- Alex Ovechkin recorded his 36th goal of the season, which leads the NHL. Ovechkin now sits six goals shy of 600 career goals. Ovechkin also led both team with nine shots.
- Niskanen led both teams with 27:12 of ice time.
- Tonight’s attendance was 18,506, the Capitals 395th consecutive sellout at Capital One Arena.
- The Capitals will have a day off tomorrow. Washington will resume with a morning skate on Thursday at 11:30 a.m. at BB&T Center prior to playing the Florida Panthers at 7:30 p.m.
- The NHL box score is here.
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