A flurry of first period goals helped the Capitals hand the Lightning their third straight loss in an abysmal start to the month of April. After a rough start to the month, Tampa looked to get back in the winning column. A frantic game would be played but would not be kind to the Bolts. Instead, John Carlson stole the show and propelled the Capitals to an impressive win over the Lightning.
Capitals strike first
To start off, Washington won the face-off but could not generate a shot on goal. Capitals nearly scored 2 and half minutes in, but Alex Ovechkin fanned on the shot. Then, Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped a shot from T.J. Oshie with no chance of a rebound opportunity. Capitals offense kept the pressure going preventing Tampa from having a decent scoring chance. Soon after, Washington opened up the scoring with a goal from Martin Fehervary. Fehervary buried the no-look passs from John Carlson to give the Capitals an early 1-0 lead.
Lightning answer back
Afterwards, Ross Colton tried to clear the puck, but it went over the glass. Colton went to the box for delay of game giving the Capitals the first power play of the night. Capitals made Tampa pay with a power play goal from John Carlson. Carlson fired a beauty one timer that Vasy had no chance of saving giving Washington a 2-0 lead. Abysmal start for the Lightning soon turned around after Nikita Kucherov lights the lamp. It was a shot that Ilya Samsonov did not see coming to cut the Capitals lead 2-1. The goal would make it 6 games straight with a point for Kucherov.
First period flurry
Following the goal Tampa nearly ties it after Samsonov made a spectacular save. Ondrej Palat tipped in the puck however it was called off due to a hand pass. Score would remain 2-1 midway through a chaotic first period. Unlike the beginning of the period both teams generated scoring opportunities keeping the game flow steady. Next, Alex Ovechkin goes bar down to give the Capitals a 3-1 lead. Nick Paul took advantage of a Capitals miscue and easily sniped the puck to put the Lightning within one goal again. Before the period ended Carlson scored again to give the Capitals a 4-2 lead. However, Lightning challenged the goal for off-sides and the goal was overturned keeping the score 3-2. Overall, Washington played as the better team while the Lightning looked for some spark to their game for the 2nd period.
Carlson stays on the scoring sheet
Slower start to the period compared to the opening frame saw both teams playing a tighter game. Washington received their 2nd power play of the game after Cal Foote is called for slashing. Unlike the first power play the Lightning killed off the penalty and nearly scored short-handed. Game remained quiet until the Lightning received their first power play of the night. Lars Eller was called for slashing, but the Capitals killed it off keeping the score 3-2. Unfortunately, Capitals added to their lead with a power play goal following the slashing call on Brayden Point. Carlson continued his dominance of the Lightning tonight with his second power play goal to give the Caps a 4-2 lead. Remainder of the period stayed silent as the Lightning would need to play catch up in hopes of getting back into the game after giving up a flurry of goals in the first period.
Starting off, Capitals received an early power play after Colton is called for interference. Lightning kill it off and looked to get the offense rolling. Minutes later Tampa received their second power play of the game but again were unable to score. Afterwards, Colton nearly scored but the puck went off the iron and away from the net. To that point it was Tampa’s best scoring opportunity of the period. Capitals then played a more controlled game in hopes to preserve their two goal lead. Consequently, the flurry of goals scored in the opening period haunted the Lightning throughout the game making it difficult to bounce back. With 5:31 to go in the game Lightning pulled Vasy to get the extra attacker on.
Too little too late
A minute later Bolts would get a power play and kept Vasy in the net for half of the power play. Bolts again pulled Vasilevskiy with a minute to go in the power play and that gave life to the offense. Colton scored to cut the Capitals lead 4-3 with a little over 2 minutes to go. Would there be a last-minute flurry from the Lightning offense? Tom Wilson was then tripped by Vasy with a poke check giving the Capitals a late power play. Since Vasy was going for a poke check instead of leaving the net empty Wilson was not awarded a goal. Afterwards, Oshie then was sent to the box with 13 seconds to go for hooking. Ultimately, the penalty did not matter as the Capitals went on to defeat the Lightning 4-3.
Three Stars of the Game
1st Star: John Carlson – 2 goals and 2 assists
2nd Star: Alex Ovechkin – 1 goal and 1 assist
3rd Star: Ross Colton – 1 goal
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