NHL Game Summary - Tampa Bay at Washington
(Sunday, January 31st)
Final Score: Washington 3, Tampa Bay 2
Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Alex Ovechkin scored the game-winner in the third period, as Washington tied a franchise mark with its 10th straight victory in a 3-2 win over Tampa Bay.
Nicklas Backstrom had a goal and an assist, while Brooks Laich also lit the lamp for the Capitals, who tied the franchise victory mark, set from January 27-February 18, 1984.
"No. 10 is pretty tough to get to," said Washington head coach Bruce Boudreau. "I told the guys that they might never reach this mark again."
Jose Theodore made 25 saves, while Tomas Fleischmann had two assists for Washington, which has also won nine straight at home.
Martin St. Louis and Steven Stamkos each had a goal and an assist for the Lightning, who have dropped their past two games. Mike Smith stopped 28 shots in the loss.
"We played hard but their best player won the game for them," said Tampa Bay head coach Rick Tocchet. "That's what good players do in big situations. When you play an excellent team you have to be error-free and we made a few blunders in our own zone that they capitalized on."
Washington had blown a two-goal advantage in the third but took the lead back with 6:26 to play. Backstrom was holding the puck deep in the left boards and sent the puck over to a moving Ovechkin. From the slot, Ovechkin snapped the puck on net, and it got past Smith for a 3-2 advantage.
Tampa Bay got Smith out of the net in the final minute but was unable to net the equalizer.
After a scoreless first period, the Caps took a 1-0 lead just 57 seconds into the second on the power play, as a one-timer from the right point hit off a couple bodies in front and Backstrom stuffed in the puck.
Washington then made it a 2-0 game with 7:04 left in the second, as Alexander Semin fired a shot on net from the left circle off a Tomas Fleischmann pass, and Brooks Laich was there to slam home the rebound for his 16th goal of the season.
The Lightning made it a one-goal game at the five-minute mark of the third, as Kurtis Foster threw a slap-pass from the right point to the slot where St. Louis redirected it home.
Skating on the power play, Tampa Bay tied the game, as Stamkos' one-timer from the left circle got past Theodore at the 7:42 mark.
The Capitals play in Boston on Tuesday...Tampa Bay plays in Atlanta on Tuesday...The Capitals have taken 13 of the last 14 games against Tampa Bay...Washington went 1-for-3 on the power play while Tampa Bay was 1- for-2...Washington defenseman Mike Green sat out the game as he was serving the first of a three-game suspension due to an elbowing incident in Friday's 4-1 win over Florida.
01/31 19:46:14 ET