Lightning Strike Capitals, 6-3; Conor Sheary, Lars Eller, Garnet Hathaway Score

Photo: @Capitals/Twitter

The Washington Capitals fell to the Tampa Bay Lightning by a score of 6-3 Sunday night at Amalie Arena. The loss dropped the Capitals’ record to 7-8-2 and 16 points on the season. Goaltender Darcy Kuemper made five saves in the first period while Charlie Lindgren took over for the remainder of the game, making 24 saves in the loss.

Lines & Pairs

Alex Ovechkin — Evgeny Kuznetsov — Conor Sheary
Sonny Milano — Dylan Strome — Marcus Johansson
Connor McMichael – Lars Eller – Anthony Mantha
Aliaksei Protas — Nic Dowd — Garnet Hathaway

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

Darcy Kuemper
Charlie Lindgren

Notes: McMichael returned to the lineup in place of the suspended right-winger Nicolas Aube-Kubel (first of a three-games). Head coach Peter Laviolette, who entered the league’s COVID protocol on Friday, missed his second-consecutive game and assistant coach Kevin McCarthy continued head coaching duties in the interim.

Scratches: Left-wing Joe Snively and defenseman Alex Alexeyev

Injuries: Right-wing Tom Wilson (ACL), center Nicklas Backstrom (hip), center Carl Hagelin (hip), right-wing Connor Brown (ACL), right-wing T.J. Oshie (lower-body), right-wing Beck Malenstyn (finger), and defenseman Dmitry Orlov (lower-body)

First Period

Just 1:23 into the opening frame, defenseman Mikhail Sergachev gave the Lightning an early 1-0 lead.

Right-wing Nikita Kucherov would extend the Lightning’s lead, 2-0, at the 8:19 mark on a man advantage.

Nearly three minutes later, Tampa Bay would get another—defenseman Nick Perbix would make it a 3-0 game.

Sergachev would pot his second goal of the night to make it 4-0 during a power-play at the 16:22 mark.

Quick Stats

SOG: 9-4 Lightning

Face-Off Win %: 61% (Lightning), 39% (Capitals)

Hits: 22-15 Capitals

Second Period

In net, Lindgren replaced Kuemper, who gave up four goals in the first twenty minutes.

The Capitals would finally get on the board from Sheary (6) to make it a 4-1 game late in the middle frame. Kuznetsov (11) and Mantha (4) assisted.

Quick Stats

Total SOG: 18-11 Lightning

Face-Off Win %: 51% (Capitals), 49% (Lightning)

Total Hits: 32-25 Capitals

Third Period

Left-wing Cole Koepke would continue to extend Tampa’s lead, 5-1, at the 13:15 mark.

Eller (3) would give the Capitals a late tally to make it a 5-2 game. Johansson (4) and van Riemsdyk (4) had the helpers.

Left-wing Nicholas Paul gave the Lightning a 6-2 lead with an empty-net goal.

Hathway (2) would chip in for the Capitals to make it 6-3 with just shy of two minutes to go. Dowd (3) had the assist.

That would be the final score.

Quick Stats

Total SOG: 35-21 Lightning

Face-Off Win %: 53% (Capitals), 47% (Lightning)

Total Hits: 44-38 Capitals

Notes Through the Game

  • Washington’s power play was 0-for-6 tonight and 0-for-16 in its last three games.
  • Tonight marked Sheary’s second-straight game with a goal and his six goals in 17 games this season rank second on the Capitals (Ovechkin: 8).
  • Kuznetsov now leads the team with 11 assists all of which have been primary assists.
  • Mantha has recorded three points (1g, 2a) in his last two games.
  • Eller has recorded two points (1g, 1a) in his last two games.
  • Kuznetsov recorded his 354th career assist against Tampa Bay, passing Peter Bondra (353) for the ninth-most assists in franchise history.

The Capitals continue their three-game road trip clashing next with the Florida Panthers at FLA Live Arena on Tuesday. NBC Sports Washington will have the coverage beginning at 7 PM ET.

By Della Young

About Della Young

Della Young is an aspiring novelist and screenwriter who earned a BFA in Creative Writing from Full Sail University in 2021. She is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Screenwriting from Regent University. Della comes from a family of big Capitals fans and became inspired to start writing for hockey in 2019. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, cooking, and working on both sides of the camera. Follow Della on Twitter: @dellayoung
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20 Responses to Lightning Strike Capitals, 6-3; Conor Sheary, Lars Eller, Garnet Hathaway Score

  1. novafyre says:

    Tampa radio announcers felt Caps D was more at fault for Tampa’s early lead rather than Darcy. But Chuckie was strong in replacement. I really felt Tampa was not going to score again.
    5on5 TOI: Mantha was low with 9:19 then MCM with 9:42, MoJo 9:51, and Milano 9:54. Minutes much much more even than I have seen from the Caps. Pat Maroon only had 9:46 but he did have 9 minutes in the Pit of Misery.

  2. Jon Sorensen says:

    • novafyre says:

      Honest assessment. But why were they so unready to play? OK, NAK was suspended, but they didn’t have a hard trip, it’s the first game of the trip, no word of flu or COVID amongst the players. Lavi has been out for days. Why so unready?

      • Anonymous says:

        I put part of sleepy first period on coaches. They are also responsible for making sure team is ready to play.

        • novafyre says:

          NHL minimum would be pretty good motivation for me. I can see illness or injury, Xs and Os, subs and new linemates or positions, or outside factors (long trip, back to back, bubble) but not being motivated enough to go out and do your job has always puzzled me.

      • Jon Sorensen says:

        Frustrating, Fyre. The last two periods were good enough to win the game.

        • novafyre says:

          They were. It was the same sort of total breakdown that Tampa had Friday.

          No Coop comments on Bolts radio, am seeing if he shows up on NHL’s site.

      • Jonathan says:

        a pervasive attitude among some at least. How and why it’s there is important. Only a real good coach is capable of addressing it properly. Trotz went through this in his go around, and addressed it more than successfully.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Other than first period, Caps did fairly well. 8 goals on Vasilevskiy in 2 games is pretty good.

    • novafyre says:

      Vasy this year has been very, very human. He is 48th in Save% (.898) and 42nd in GAA (3.10 average). Not only are Darcy and Chuck ahead of him but so are Sammy and Vee.

    • novafyre says:

      Chuck looked good. I actually have liked him better this year than Darcy. Everything in that video is what the Bolts said after Friday’s game. Coop’s presser tonight was all about Bolts and their reaction to Friday’s dismal performance, no mention of Caps’ problems tonight.

      Talk about not being ready to play. In Boston Canucks came out in road whites and Bruins came out in retro whites. Seems they weren’t supposed to wear them until next week. Bruins went back in, changed, and won the game. But warmup photo sure looked funny.

  4. Diann Bullock says:

    Any idea why Joe Snively has been a healthy scratch for so many games now?

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      No idea, Diann, it’s typical of Laviolette to go with who he feels is best suited for the game, and he doesn’t do much regular cycling in of other players on a regular basis, to keep them fresh, like many other coaches do. Maybe tomorrow night.

  5. Zoltán says:

    Lavi should fly!

  6. Anonymous says:

    One step forward….one step back.

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