After slumping through their longest losing streak of the
season, the Washington Capitals are playing much better of late.
Their strong run figures to continue against the struggling Tampa
Bay Lightning, whom they’ve dominated at home.
Washington looks for its 15th win in 16 home meetings with Tampa
Bay on Tuesday night.
The Capitals (16-12-2) have won four of five after a four-game
slide that saw them total only seven goals. They scored three times
during the second period of Sunday’s 4-1 win at New York after
Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist entered with an 180-minute
scoreless streak against the Capitals.
That drought came to an end with Jason Chimera’s goal early in
the second frame, followed by another from Steve Oleksy 25 seconds
“You get the lead, it obviously makes it a lot easier,” coach
Adam Oates told the team’s website. “We broke the ice first, we got
the goal, it gives us a little confidence. And we kept making good
decisions with the puck, kept putting it in the right place. It
gave us a chance to have another wave and sooner or later we broke
The Lightning (17-10-2) have lost three of four overall and five
straight on the road after starting 6-3-0 away from home.
They dropped a 2-1 overtime result on Saturday at home,
surrendering the winner 1:04 into the extra period after an Alex
Killorn shot deflected off the post moments earlier.
Tampa Bay was outshot 29-17 over the first two periods before
claiming a 12-6 shots advantage in the third. The Lightning have
one power play goal on 24 chances over last eight games and are
averaging 2.1 goals in 12 games since Steven Stamkos was sidelined
with a broken tibia. They were averaging 3.1 goals in 17 games
prior to his injury.
“It’s frustrating because I think we can generate a lot more,”
Nate Thompson, who scored on a deflection with 1.1 seconds left in
the second period, told the team’s website. “We have the guys who
can step up and do it; it’s just a matter of having that shooter
mentality. When you have that shooter mentality other things open
Backup netminder Anders Lindback was unable to earn his third
win despite making 34 saves. Lindback has combined with Ben Bishop
to post a 1.43 goals-against average over Tampa Bay’s last seven
games, though coach Jon Cooper’s team is 3-2-2 over that
Martin St. Louis assisted on Thompson’s goal, his team-leading
15th assist of the season but his first in five games. It also
increased St. Louis’ career point total to 939, ahead of Jason
Arnott for 91st all-time. He has six goals and eight assists over
his last nine games versus Washington.
Alex Ovechkin has five goals in his last four home games against
The teams combined for 33 goals as Washington won three of four
meetings last season.