After ending February with three straight wins, the Caps have faltered in the three games since, having been outscored 10-3 in those losses, all of which were at home. The Capitals top off their five-game homestand tonight against the Tampa Bay Lightning, who have won seven of their last 10 games.
Tampa Bay comes in boasting the league’s top point scorer Steven Stamkos (81 points) while the Caps’ leader in points, Alex Ovechkin, has only notched 49 points all year.To put things in perspective, the Lightning have two others ahead of Ovechkin in points; Martin St. Louis (61) and Teddy Purcell (53).
Fortunately for the Capitals, the Lightning need that offense because they are the league’s worst in goals against average, allowed 3.38 goals per game.
In order to climb out of their funk, the Caps need to find holes in Tampa Bay’s defense and back that up with solid goaltending. As the season winds down, each game becomes more critical. The current situation for the Capitals at this point is one of desperation. If they want a playoff berth, they must get off of life support, which is where they stand now.
1st Period Overview:
– Via @CapsMedia, Karl Alzner and Matt Hendricks are playing in their 200th NHL games tonight.
– Joel Ward and Jeff Halpern almost connect on a goal right in front of Dustin Tokarski.
– Dennis Wideman is trying to get a quick strike with a couple shots from the point.
– Tomas Vokoun is lucky to get the save considering how much that puck kept bouncing off of him.
– Chimera sends it right into Tokarski’s bread basket.
– Vokoun makes a sprawling save going across the goal.
– Laich gets his pass intercepted but takes it right back and gets a shot off.
– Chris Pontius and Danny Cruz from D.C. United are in the house tonight.
– Chimera and Aulie are getting a bit chippy out there.
– Eric Brewer sent to the penalty box for tripping at the 14:47 mark.
– Ovi tries get two power play shots off. One goes wide right, the other deflected.
– Deflection off of Aucoin’s stick gives the Caps their first goal of the night. 1-0 over the Lightning.
– Alzner and Halpern get the assist on the goal at the 2:52 mark. That is Aucoin’s second goal of the season.
– Caps put in a group effort around Vokoun to keep the puck out of the net to end the first period.
Total Faceoffs Won: TB – 11 WAS – 9
Total Hits: TB – 14 WAS – 8
Total Shots on Goal: TB – 15 WAS – 13
Total Goals: TB – 0 WAS – 1
2nd Period Overview:
– Hendricks and Beagle with quick shots in front of the net. Close but no cigar.
– Wideman gets the first penalty of the second period after knocking J.T. Wyman into the boards.
– Ryan Malone gets the goal during the Wideman penalty. Assists to Stamkos and Purcell. Tied up at 1-1.
– Matthieu Perreault gets sent to the penalty box.
– Dmitry Orlov sends Brett Connolly into the boards. Connolly is shaken up but skates to the bench under his own power.
– Chimera gets into it again with the Lightning.
– With 3:03 left to play, the Caps have only attempted one shot in the second period.
– Beagle heads to the penalty box for holding. Caps now on the PK with 2:14 remaining in the 2nd.
– Lightning get their second power play goal. This time with 1:18 to go in the second period. Caps down 2-1.
– The Caps are just seemingly playing around with the puck towards the end of this period. Don’t look organized.
– Caps enter the locker room to boos from the home crowd.
– That was simply a low-tempo period for the #Caps. Not good enough.
– Caps only managed two shots in 20 minutes.
Total Faceoffs Won: TB – 20 WAS – 16
Total Hits: TB – 18 WAS – 18
Total Shots on Goal: TB – 23 WAS – 16
Total Goals: TB – 2 WAS – 1
3rd Period Overview:
– Caps on the power play just 36 seconds into the period.
– Ovi and Laich had the perfect opportunity to put one in the net and missed.
– Not even four minutes in, the Caps already have as many shots on goal in the third period as they did the second.
– Beagle and Hendricks get into a scrum by the net after the puck nearly drifted into the net. The play is under review. Ref rules that the puck never crossed the line. No goal.
– Caps fans noticed Mike Knuble in the press box. “Mike Knuble we love you!” said one fan. Others turned around and clapped in appreciation.
– Semin is starting to create some chances around the net.
– Marcus Johansson ties it at 2 with 3:58 to go.
– Caps and Lightning take it into OT.
Total Faceoffs Won: TB – 25 WAS – 25
Total Hits: TB – 24 WAS – 28
Total Shots on Goal: TB – 26 WAS – 28
Total Goals: TB – 2 WAS – 2
Total Faceoffs Won: TB – 30 WAS – 27
Total Hits: TB – 26 WAS – 28
Total Shots on Goal: TB – 26 WAS – 32
Total Goals: TB – 2 WAS – 3