Photo: Scott Audette/Getty Images
The Washington Capitals fell to the Tampa Bay Lightning by a score of 6-3 at Amalie Arena on Saturday night. The loss kept the Capitals two points up on the New York Islanders for first place in the Metropolitan Division, though the Islanders now have a game in hand on the Capitals, who are now down to their final 10 games of the regular season. Goaltender Braden Holtby made 29 saves in the loss.
Capitals Lines at Lightning
The Capitals made no line changes from their 5-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night. Defenseman Nick Jensen suited up in his 200th career NHL game.
Forward Tyler Johnson beat goaltender Braden Holtby through the five-hole after getting a cross-ice pass from center Brayden Point on a two-on-one that was forced by a Capitals’ turnover in the neutral zone to make it 1-0 Tampa Bay 8:35 into the game.
Forward Alex Killorn shot the puck from the wall and it hit Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov in front of Holtby to make it 2-0 1:58 later.
Defenseman John Carlson unleashed a howitzer from the point after getting the puck off of a blocked shot by the Lightning to cut the lead in half 12:06 into the first.
Killorn scored again to make it 3-1 with 4:04 left on a rebound after getting past a one-on-one battle with Jensen on the way to the net.
The Capitals went 0-for-1 in the power-play in the opening frame.
The Lightning led 16-9 in shots, 14-9 in hits, 4-3 in blocked shots, 2-1 in takeaways, and had no giveaways while the Capitals had one through 20 minutes. They won 67% of the faceoffs in the first.
Each team posted four blocked shots in the opening period.
Captain Alex Ovechkin sniped one past the blocker of Vasilevskiy from his office after getting it off of a Tampa Bay blocked shot on the power-play to cut the lead to 3-2 7:33 into the period. It was Ovechkin’s 47th of the season.
The Capitals led 22-21 in shots, including 13-5 in the second period, and had two giveaways while the Lightning had seven through two. They went 1-for-2 on the power-play in the first two periods.
The Lightning led 28-15 in hits, 10-5 in blocked shots, and 5-2 in takeaways through 40 minutes. They went 0-for-3 on the man advantage and won 65% of the faceoffs in the opening two periods.
Defenseman Erik Cernak squeaked one past the five-hole of Holtby from the right dot after getting fed by defenseman Ryan McDonagh at the point to double the Bolts’ lead 2:45 into the third.
Ovechkin made it a one-goal game with a shot from in front that caromed off of the backboard after Orlov shot it from the point with 7:04 left for his 48th of the season.
Killorn added an empty-net goal from the boards for his first career NHL hat-trick to make it 5-3 Lightning with 46.3 seconds to go.
Forward Yanni Gourde skated in for another empty-netter to make it 6-3 with 1.3 seconds left.
The Capitals had five giveaways while the Bolts had nine. They went 1-for-4 on the power-play.
The Lightning led 35-33 in shots, including 14-11 in the third period, 12-8 in blocked shots, 9-2 in takeaways, and had 33-23 in hits. They went 0-for-4 on the man advantage and won 65% of the faceoffs.
The Capitals wrap up their four-game Eastern Conference against the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night. Action from Prudential Center in Newark can be seen on NBC Sports Washington or NBCSN for those outside the DMV beginning at 7:30 PM ET.
By Harrison Brown