Photo: Scott Audette/Getty Images
The Washington Capitals‘ first meeting of the season with the league-leading Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night did not go as well as the Caps had hoped as they fell 6-3. While the Capitals came up short, no harm was done in terms of losing the Metropolitan Division lead as the New York Islanders fell 2-1 to the Detroit Red Wings and the Pittsburgh Penguins lost 5-1 to the St. Louis Blues on Saturday afternoon. Here’s a closer look at Saturday night’s outing in Tampa Bay:
NHL Box Score
Natural Stat Trick
The Lightning roared out to a 2-0 lead in the first 10 minutes of the game before defenseman John Carlson and forward Alex Killorn exchanged goals late in the period for both teams. Captain Alex Ovechkin got the Capitals within one in the second period with a power-play goal. After defenseman Erik Cernak doubled the Bolts’ lead, Ovechkin scored his second of the game and his league-leading 48th goal of the season. Killorn and forward Yanni Gourde added empty-net goals in the final minute of the game to make it a 6-3 final. Killorn earned a hat-trick for the Lightning.
Capitals’ Lines at Lightning
The Capitals made no line changes from their 5-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night. Goaltender Braden Holtby made his third consecutive start.
The Capitals started out slowly on shot attempts while the Lightning started out fast. The numbers went in the Capitals favor for the next little while although the Bolts were rolling on shot attempts not long after that. The Capitals then dominated in attempts for the last 35 minutes of the game.
After a -6 in shot differential during the first period, the Capitals earned a shot differential of +14 the rest of the game. Overall, they won in the Corsi battle 45-37 for a Corsi for a percentage of 54.88%.
Just as important as generating shot attempts, is the resultant location of those shots/scoring chances. As you can see, a majority of the Capitals’ attempts came in the slot, both of the dots, and from out high on any side.
The Capitals were outshot 29-24 at even strength for a shots-for percentage of 45.28% and earned a high-danger Corsi-for percentage of 28.68%.
They also gave the NHL’s most potent power-play four opportunities on the man advantage, though they held them to just three shots combined on those chances and did not allow any goals.
The Capitals allowed three goals in the first 16 minutes of the game, including two in the first 11. They gave the best team in the NHL a tough outing, but two empty-netters for the Lightning inflated the final score.
A bad turnover along the wall led to Killorn’s first goal that put the Capitals in a 2-0 hole. In his second goal of the game, Capitals defenseman Nick Jensen skated his way backward to defend Killorn but got out of position and instead gave him a great opportunity to bury a rebound in front.
- Ovechkin recorded his 131st career multi-goal game to move into a tie with Teemu Selanne for the eighth-most performances in NHL history
- Ovechkin’s power play goal tied him for fifth all-time with Phil Esposito
- Ovechkin is two goals shy of passing Brendan Shanahan (656) for 13th place on the NHL’s all-time scoring list
- Carlson has been on the ice for 84 goals at five-on-five this season, the second most of any player in the NHL (Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly: 89)
- Jensen suited up in his 400th career NHL game
The Capitals conclude their four-game Eastern Conference road trip when they visit the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on Tuesday night. Action can be seen on NBC Sports Washington or NBCSN for viewers outside of the DMV.
By Harrison Brown
Just as I figured spot the Lightning two goals and that’s all she wrote! A very disappointing loss against Tampa Bay. Just don’t seem to have good starts especially the first period. I don’t believe there worthy repeat Cup Champions.
One of many to come against these guys, would be surprised if a game 7 decides the cup again this year.