NHL Game Summary - Washington at Tampa Bay
(Monday, December 7th)
Final Score: Washington 3, Tampa Bay 0
Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - Alex Ovechkin returned from a two-game suspension to score two goals and Semyon Varlamov posted his second shutout of the season, as Washington won its sixth straight game, 3-0, over Tampa Bay.
Eric Fehr also scored to extend his points streak to seven games while Ovechkin notched a point in his sixth straight test in a successful and healthy return to the ice.
Ovechkin sat out the Caps' last two outings after being disciplined by the league for a knee-to-knee hit on Carolina defenseman Tim Gleason last Monday. The two-time Hart Trophy winner injured himself on the play but showed no ill effects against the Lightning.
The 21-year-old Varlamov recorded 26 saves to register his fourth career blanking, and second in the regular season.
Alexander Semin and Tomas Fleischmann each had two assists for the Capitals, who can count four consecutive road wins among their current streak. It was also Washington's 12th straight win against Tampa Bay. That's the longest winning streak for the Caps against any one franchise.
Mike Smith stopped 31-of-34 shots in what was the Lightning's fifth defeat in the last six games.
After a scoreless first period, Washington got on the board 7:39 into the second. Semin intercepted an errant Bolts pass and charged down the right wing, sliding the puck across the low slot for Ovechkin, who rammed it home.
"We really neutralized him really well I thought, then you give him one two- on-one and when he's got one...he's going to score every time. It's really amazing watching him. You don't really notice him and all of a sudden, bang, bang -- he's got two goals," Bolts defenseman Kurtis Foster said.
With 7:28 to play in the period, Fehr batted a fluttering puck in the crease past Smith.
Vincent Lecavalier was whistled for hooking late in the second, and Ovechkin snapped off a low shot from the right circle that beat Smith for a power-play marker inside the final minute for a 3-0 lead.
"I thought he was a little rusty and wasn't moving his legs as most of us weren't in the first period," Capitals head coach Bruce Boudreau said of Ovechkin's return. "We started moving our legs and started getting chances to score."
Varlamov was tested with only five shots over the final 20 minutes.
The win improved the Caps to an impressive 10-3-3 as the visitor this season...Tampa Bay owns a 7-3-4 record at home this season...Fehr has amassed 10 points (5 goals, 5 assists) during his point streak while Ovechkin has produced five goals and three helpers over his last six games...The Capitals travel to play Buffalo on Wednesday...The Lightning will host Edmonton the same night to close out a three-game homestand.
12/08 02:07:29 ET