Capitals Ground Lightning 3-1; Radko Gudas Scores First Goal As A Capital

Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images

The Washington Capitals beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-1 on Saturday night at Capital One Arena. The win improves the Capitals record to 26-6-5 (57 points) on the season. 

After a scoreless first period, Radko Gudas would score his first goal as a Capital to give Washington a 1-0 lead at the second intermission. The Lightning would tie the game midway through the final period with a nifty roofer from Nikita Kucherov, making it 1-1 with 10 minutes left in the game. Dmitry Orlov would give the Capitals a 2-1 lead midway through the final frame, and the Capitals would an empty net goal for the 3-1 final.


Braden Holtby (16-4-0-4, 3.62 GAA, .898 sv%) started between the pipes for Washington. Curtis McElhinney (3-3-0-2, 2.88 GAA, .906 sv%) got the start in goal for the visiting Lightning. The starting forward lines and defensive pairs for the Capitals:

Scratches: Travis Boyd

The Capitals and Lightning skated to a scoreless draw in the first frame. The Capitals led in shot attempts 15-10 and 8-6 in shots on goal for the first 20 minutes. Both teams were 0 for 2 on the power play in the first frame.

The Capitals would break the seal on the scoring with a blast from the blue line at 4:40 of the middle frame. Lars Eller (12) and Jonas Siegenthaler (5) had the helpers.

The second period would conclude with the Capitals holding on to the 1-0 lead. The Capitals led in shots on goal 16-6 for the second period, and 29-12 after two periods.

The Capitals led in shot attempts 25-12 for the second period, and 40-22 after two periods of play.

The Lightning would tie the game midway through the final frame with a goal from Nikita Kucherov (12) at the 10:00 mark.

The Capitals would re-gain the lead with a snipe from Dmitry Orlov (3) at 13:57 of the final frame. Jakub Vrana (15) and Evgeny Kuznetsov (21) had the helpers.

The Capitals would add an empty net goal for the 3-1 final. Nic Dowd would pot the short-handed ENG.

The Capitals are back in action Monday night when they visit the Bruins in Boston. Puck drop is set for 7:00 PM.


  • Lars Eller has three points (1g, 2a) in his last four games.
  • The Capitals improve to 11-1-0 against Atlantic Division opponents this season.
  • Dmitry Orlov scored his third goal of the season to give the Capitals a 2-1 lead. Orlov has five points (1g, 4a) in his last seven games.


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About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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4 Responses to Capitals Ground Lightning 3-1; Radko Gudas Scores First Goal As A Capital

  1. Day One Caps Fan says:

    Absolutely the Caps have “Won Ugly” in both games of the back-to-back. The extraordinarily miserable NJD team was 2-2 and hanging with the Caps, late in the 2nd Period Friday night. Then there was TBL to whom the Caps delivered Seven– count them, Seven — free Christmas Power Plays from lots of careless play.

    But the talented and deep Capitals had two really strong Third Periods pocketed four standings points. I’ll give in that the Caps first period against TBL was much sharper than the first period of the previous five games.

    The Caps are built well for the modern Salary Cap NHL. No team can be dominant like a 1980s Gretzky Edmonton, or a 1990s Lemieux Pittsburgh, or a 2000s Yzerman Red Wings. But GMBM’s Caps have bang-for-the-buck. Skilled superstars, stingy goaltending and tenacious defenders.

    Let’s see what they look like on 01 February 2020. Caps can be better than seven penalties per game, and refuse-to-score First Periods.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The team is in first with 1/3rd the D playing poorly?!?!?!?

  3. Pingback: Washington at Boston Preview: Capitals Battle Slumping Bruins For The Last Time This Season | NoVa Caps

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