NHL Game Summary - Washington at Tampa Bay
(Tuesday, January 12th)
Final Score: Tampa Bay 7, Washington 4
Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - Steve Stamkos scored twice while Marty St. Louis registered a goal and two assists, as the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Washington Capitals, 7-4, at St. Pete Times Forum.
Vinny Lecavalier, Stephane Veilleux, Jeff Halpern and Kurtis Foster also scored for the Lightning, who have won two straight following a two-game skid. Mike Smith started between the pipes for Tampa Bay and allowed two goals on 12 shots. Antero Niittymaki turned aside 22 shots in relief while Alex Tanguay notched two assists in the win.
Mike Green scored twice for the Capitals, who saw their three-game win streak halted. Washington goaltenders Michal Neuvirth and Jose Theodore both saw action -- the former got the start and surrendered four first-period goals, while the latter allowed three goals on 21 shots over the final 40 minutes.
Eric Fehr and Alexander Semin also tallied for the Capitals.
"We didn't capitalize on our power-play chances, and this was not a good game for us," said Alex Ovechkin. "There were mistakes by everybody, but we just need to forget about this one and get ready for the next game."
With the score tied 4-4 late in the second period, the Lightning took the lead for good on St. Louis' power-play tally, his 12th goal of the season and 250th of his career. St. Louis accepted a pass at the top of the left circle and unleashed a blazing slap shot that lit the lamp with 2:32 to go before the second intermission.
The Lightning scored both goals in the final stanza to seal the victory.
Four minutes into the third, Foster's seventh goal -- a slap shot from the right point that fooled Theodore, who was screened -- made it 6-4.
The icing on the cake was a power-play goal by Halpern midway through the frame. The Lightning crossed the blue line on a 3-on-2 rush and Lecavalier held control along the right side. From inside the bottom portion of the circle, Lecavalier sent a pass across the low slot for a snap shot one-timer from the left side by Halpern with 10:06 to play in regulation.
"We did a great job of re-focusing in the third period and getting some big goals," said Stamkos. "Washington is a potent offensive team."
The win put a stop to the Capitals' 12-game win streak in this series, dating back to December 15, 2007.
After Lecavalier opened the scoring six-plus minutes into the contest when he completed a 2-on-1 with Tanguay near the right post, the Lightning grabbed a 2-0 lead via a power-play tally at the 12:03 mark of the first stanza.
A shot from the centerpoint was deflected by Brandon Bochenski, but the puck went wide of the net. After the disc caromed hard off the rear boards, it landed directly onto the stick of Stamkos, whose backhander from a sharp angle near the left post surprised Neuvirth and landed in the back of the cage.
Semin's 19th goal at 14:05 cut the Caps' deficit in half, but Tampa Bay scored twice within a 67-second span in the latter stages of the opening stanza for a 4-1 lead after 20 minutes.
The third TB goal was Stamkos' second of the night and was scored at the 17:28 mark. A shot from the right circle was saved, but the rebound kicked loose into the slot before Stamkos collected the puck and released a wrist shot from the high slot that appeared to deflect off of a Washington defender on its way into the net.
Just over a minute later, Veilleux made it 4-1 when his shot hit Neuvirth -- who was screened by Zenon Konopka -- and bounced off his mask before the puck trickled over the goal line at 18:35.
In the middle stanza, the Caps scored three straight goals to knot the contest. Green's two goals on wrist shots from the high slot were sandwiched around Fehr's 11th marker of 2009-10.
Despite the loss, Washington is still 9-2-0 within the Southeast Division this season...This also halted the Caps' seven-game win streak in Tampa...The Lightning were 4-for-7 on the power play, while the Caps were 2-for-4 with the extra skater...The third period included 60 combined penalty minutes. Tampa's Steve Downie tried to start a fight with Ovechkin, but instead dropped the mitts with Matt Bradley...Ovechkin had two assists.
01/13 00:08:36 ET