Two Quick Third-Period Goals Power Capitals To 5-2 Win In Tampa Bay

Photo: Scott Audette/Getty Images

The Washington Capitals defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning by a score of 5-2 at Amalie Arena on Saturday night for their eighth win in their last nine games (8-1-0). The Capitals now lead the New York Islanders by seven points for first place in the Metropolitan Division, though the Islanders have three games in hand on the Capitals, and the Boston Bruins for first place in the Eastern Conference with both teams having 34 games now in the books. Goaltender Ilya Samsonov, who made his first start in three games, pitched 26 saves in the win, the opener of the team’s annual fathers and mentor’s trip.

Capitals’ Lines at Lightning

The Capitals made no lineup changes from their 3-2 win over the Bruins on Wednesday with the exception of Samsonov in goal.

First Period

Center Nicklas Backstrom picked off Lightning defenseman Jan Rutta at the crease after he fumbled it in front of goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy and Backstrom beat the Russian netminder to the blocker side to give the Capitals the lead 6:42 in.

The Capitals led 12-8 in shots, 9-6 in hits, and won 53% of the draws in the first. They went 0-for-2 on the man advantage in the opening frame.

The Lightning led 2-1 in takeaways and didn’t convert on one power-play through 20 minutes.

Each team recorded five blocked shots and one giveaway in the first.

Second Period

Center Brayden Point steered one in from the slot after forward Alex Killorn spun around and fed him at the side of the goal to tie the game on the power-play at 5:45.

Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov left the game late midway through the second after blocking a shot from Capitals defenseman John Carlson and would not return.

The Capitals led 21-19 in shots, 13-10 in hits, 13-7 in blocked shots, and 5-3 takeaways after 40 minutes. They went 0-for-2 on the power play in the first two periods.

The Lightning outshot the Capitals 11-9 in the second period, only had four giveaways while the Capitals had five, won 60% of the draws, and went 1-for-5 on the power-play through two.

Third Period

Center Lars Eller buried a one-timer from the right circle over the left shoulder of Vasilevskiy after getting a feed from forward Richard Panik to give the Capitals a 2-1 lead 1:58 into the third.

Forward Garnet Hathaway finished a passing play with forward Brendan Leipsic, going backhand to forehand and beating Vasilevskiy through the five-hole to extend the lead to 3-1 45 seconds later.

Defenseman Jan Rutta let it go from the slot and beat Samsonov through the five-hole while he was looking through a maze of players after getting a feed from forward Alex Killorn to get the Lightning back within one with 8:42 left.

Forward T.J. Oshie tucked the puck past Vasilevskiy on the left post after protecting it with a man on him and forward Yanni Gourde after getting it from forward Jakub Vrana at the blue line to restore the Capitals’ two-goal lead with 7:44 to go.

Forward Tom Wilson added an empty-netter, wristing one from out high with 38.6 seconds left.

The Capitals led 34-28 in shots, including 13-9 in the third, 18-13 in hits, 7-6 in takeaways, and 19-8 in blocked shots. They went 0-for-2 on the power play and won 53% of the draws.

The Lightning had five giveaways while the Capitals had six and went 1-for-5 on the power-play.

The Capitals improved to 10-1-0 against the Atlantic Division this season and 15-2-1 on the road.

The Capitals wrap up their fathers and mentor’s trip at the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday night. Action from Nationwide Arena can be seen on NBC Sports Washington locally and NHL Network nationally beginning at 7 PM ET.

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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6 Responses to Two Quick Third-Period Goals Power Capitals To 5-2 Win In Tampa Bay

  1. Day One Caps Fan says:

    Caps’ COMCAST commentators were grooving on the amazing Mr. John Hathaway. Laughlin said he wanted Hathaway at his upcoming Christmas Party.

    The guy reminds me of “Cousin ITT” from the Addams’ Family 1960s series

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