Kuemper, Capitals Tackle Tampa Bay, 5-1, Take First Game Of Home-And-Home Set; Milano Records Three Points, Mantha Two

Photo by John McCreary/NHLI via Getty Images

The Washington Capitals struck the Tampa Bay Lightning by a score of 5-1 at Capital One Arena on Friday night. The win lifted Washington one point  behind the New York Rangers, who have a game in hand, for the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

The Capitals are currently sixth in the Metropolitan Division with a 7-7-2 record. Goaltender Darcy Kuemper, who defeated Tampa Bay in the 2022 Stanley Cup Final with the Colorado Avalanche, made 28 saves in the victory.

Capitals’ Lines vs. Tampa Bay

Alex Ovechkin — Evgeny Kuznetsov — Conor Sheary
Sonny Milano — Dylan Strome — Marcus Johansson
Anthony Mantha — Lars Eller — Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Aliaksei Protas — Nic Dowd — Garnet Hathaway

Erik Gustafsson — John Carlson
Martin Fehervary — Nick Jensen
Matt Irwin — Trevor Van Riemsdyk

Charlie Lindgren

Injured: D Dmitry Orlov (lower-body, missed third straight game, out day-to-day), RW Connor Brown (lower-body, 12th, indefinite), LW Carl Hagelin (hip, 16th, indefinite), RW Tom Wilson (ACL, 16th, indefinite), C Nicklas Backstrom (hip, 16th, indefinite), RW T.J. Oshie (lower-body, seventh, indefinite), LW Beck Malenstyn (finger, fifth, week-to-week)

Scratched: D Alexander Alexeyev, C Connor McMichael, LW Joe Snively

Carlson returned after missing six straight games with a lower-body injury. Alexeyev drew out of the lineup. Head coach Peter Laviolette was not behind the bench due to the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol. Assistant Kevin McCarthy assumed the bench boss duties.

Tampa Bay’s Lines

Brandon Hagel — Brayden Point — Nikita Kucherov
Steven Stamkos — Nick Paul — Alex Killorn
Cole Koepke — Vladislav Namestnikov — Ross Colton
Pat Maroon — Pierre-Edouard Bellemare — Corey Perry

Victor Hedman — Erik Cernak
Mikhail Sergachev — Nick Perbix
Ian Cole — Cal Foote

Andrei Vasilevskiy
Brian Elliott

Injured: D Zach Bogosian (shoulder, 14th, indefinite), C Anthony Cirelli (shoulder, 14th, indefinite)

Scratched: D Hadyn Fleury, D Philippe Myers

First Period

Kuemper robbed Kucherov on the breakaway with his glove twice 7:05 in.


10:32, 1-0 Washington: Mantha wristed one glove-side on Valievskiy at the back door after Eller circled around the net, spun around, and fed him from the low left dot. The 28-year-old’s five goals rank second on the Capitals this season. The marker was just the ninth that Washington has scored five-on-five in their past ninth games.

Shots: 9-7 Tampa Bay

Other notable stats: Washington led 10-7 in blocked shots and 5-2 in takeaways. Each team earned seven hits and had a power-play in the first.

Second Period

Aube-Kubel got a match penalty for an illegal check to the head of Foote in open ice, which caused him to bleed, just 1:56 in.


7:03, 2-0: After a defensive-zone clear by Carlson as a five-minute power-play expired, Milano came out of the penalty box, skated in, deked, and put one past the pad of Vasilevskiy on a breakaway. The helper marked the 600th point of Carlson’s career, which moved him into the top-five in scoring in franchise history.

14:25, 3-0: After Vasilevskiy blockered away Protas’ tip on Jensen’s point shot in front, Protas took a few steps, pounced on the rebound, and buried the loose puck down low. Jensen tallied his 100th career NHL point with the assist.

Shots: 21-18 Tampa Bay (including 12-11 in the second)

Other notable stats: Each did not score on two full power-plays. Tampa Bay won 60% of the draws and led 16-14 in blocked shots. Washington led 8-5 in takeaways and had just four takeaways while Tampa Bay earned five.

Third Period


4:53, 4-0: After Mantha sent Sheary in on a breakaway with a pass at the blueline, the 30-year-old skated in and ripped one over the glove of Vasilevskiy.

12:08, 4-1: Perbix blasted a one-timer under the pad of Kuemper from the top of the left circle after Bellemare laid the puck on a tee for him from the blueline.

17:45, 5-1: Milano’s attempted cross-ice feed to Kuznetsov in front went in off of Stamkos’ skate after Ovechkin started a tic-tac-toe passing play at the top.

Gustafsson took down Namestnikov while a dance between Mantha and Perry got broken up with 5:40 to go.

Shots: 29-24 Tampa Bay (including 9-6 in the third)

Other notable stats: Tampa Bay won 62% of the faceoffs and was held off on three power-plays while Washington was six times. Tampa Bay also led 25-22 in blocked shots.

Next game: Sunday at Tampa Bay (7 PM ET, ESPN nationally)

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
This entry was posted in News and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Kuemper, Capitals Tackle Tampa Bay, 5-1, Take First Game Of Home-And-Home Set; Milano Records Three Points, Mantha Two

  1. novafyre says:

    Does anyone think NAK will get a suspension from DOPES? It was a hit to the head, but to me it didn’t look malicious. But when there is blood. . .

    I said pregame that the Bolts PP was stone cold dead. They proved me right. And the Bolts turnovers. Yuch. I don’t believe the turnover stats. Tampa was a lot worse.

    I think the Bolts will have a couple more subs on Sunday.

    Perhaps it would be better if Lavi is not allowed behind the bench rest of the season? As Alan mentioned, Caps were a lot more aggressive, a lot more animated.

  2. Jon Sorensen says:

  3. Anonymous says:

    Aubé-Kubel has no previous suspensions but has been fined. I don’t think his history indicates a need for further punishment but this is DOPS and the Caps we are talking about.

    Hard to believe the PP looked worse than the 0-6 would indicate.

  4. Anonymous says:

    The team that played the pens and the team that played tonight seem like two different teams. How do you explain it?

  5. Jon Sorensen says:

  6. Jon Sorensen says:

  7. Jon Sorensen says:

  8. Anonymous says:

    Maybe the coach being out. Keep him away.

  9. Lance says:

    We found our new head coach! I expected a 7-1 Tampa Bay win. I’m astonished by tonight’s result. TB was an undisciplined mess out there. Ovie took out 2 of their players with his slap shot. Weird night. I’ll take the win.

  10. Jonathan says:

    I hope Lavi has to sit out another couple games.

  11. novafyre says:

    Tampa announcers and analysts were very impressed with Darcy. Commented on the paucity of rebounds. They criticized Tampa’s mistakes, especially in defense. Leaving players unmarked is inexcusable. They were also disparaging of the toothless powerplay. No one was surprised that it was a feisty game. None expect NAK to play for at least one game, maybe more.

    In his postgame, Cooper was concerned about injuries. He put the blame on Bolts’ undisciplined play and senseless (his word) penalties.

    All commented on the Bolt’s inability to do anything with the 5 minute PP as the turning point. Not just not scoring, but really not even threatening.

    As to a feisty game on Sunday? Coop answered that question by saying that we’ll have to see who makes it to the ice.

    • dwgie26 says:

      Pretty fair comments. The 5 minute PP/PK for us, was definitely the turning point. We had more scoring opportunities then they did. And that was with our best PKer (Hath) in the box. Sheary looks great on the PK. That is a nice find.

      I don’t really think there will be fireworks on Sunday. both teams are banged up and both need wins/points so that will be the focus. I expect a close, low scoring game.

Leave a Reply