Ovechkin snaps slump, scores twice to help Capitals beat Lightning
The Washington Capitals put together a nice little run away from home.
Braden Holtby made 33 saves, Alex Ovechkin scored twice to break out of a four-game drought, and the Capitals beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-3 on Tuesday night to complete a perfect three-game road trip.
"We needed to play simple, stay focused all the time, and it was a great result for us," Ovechkin said.
Washington also got goals from Matt Niskanen, Brooks Laich and Troy Brouwer. Ovechkin has 37 goals and 74 points in 56 games against Tampa Bay.
"Our big guys showed up tonight and scored some goals for us, and I thought we got contributions right through the whole lineup," Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. "There wasn't any passengers."
Ovechkin opened the scoring 40 seconds in when he beat Ben Bishop from in-close. He added his 436th goal, one shy of tying Pavel Bure for 66th place on the NHL career list, with an empty-netter.
Steven Stamkos scored his 250th goal for the Lightning, who have lost three of four. The Tampa Bay captain became the 10th youngest NHL player to reach the milestone at 24 years, 305 days.
"To be honest, I haven't really thought about it," Stamkos said. "Five-hundred maybe, that's something different."
Brian Boyle and Valtteri Filppula had the other Tampa Bay goals.
Laich made it 3-2 at 4:36 of the second, and Brouwer made it a two-goal edge with 9:08 to play.
Holtby stopped six shots during the first three minutes of the third period. With his 71st win, Holtby moved past Pete Peeters and Jim Carey into fourth place on the team's career list.
"One of the things I think Braden has taken on is that blue-collar Saskatchewan work ethic a little bit, and it's showing up in the games," Trotz said.
Stamkos pulled the Lightning even at 2 from the slot 47 seconds into the second.
"We're not playing the way we need to to be successful," said Stamkos, who was minus-3.
Filppula hit the post during a late second period Tampa Bay power play. He scored his first goal in 11 games with 3 seconds remaining in the game
Niskanen put the Capitals, who entered with the NHL's top road power-play unit, up 2-1 with a man-advantage goal with 5:37 left in the first
Boyle tied it at 13:49 with his first goal and point in 15 games.
Bishop made 30 saves. Victor Hedman had three assists
NOTES: Nicklas Backstrom and Marcus Johansson had two assists apiece for the Capitals. ... Washington D Mike Green (upper body) missed his eighth straight game, but could return soon. ... Lightning rookie F Jonathan Drouin was a healthy scratch for the fourth time in 12 games. ... Capitals LW Aaron Volpatti has been cleared to practice with Hershey of the AHL. ... Washington D John Carlson, playing in his 323rd consecutive game, had an assist. He broke a tie with Kelly Miller for the second longest streak in team history. Bob Carpenter is first at 422 games.