Coming off a tough loss on Wednesday to the St. Louis Blues, the Tampa Bay Lightning looked to get back on track against the Washington Capitals on Friday night. The Bolts, winners of 6 of their last 9 games, entered Friday night with a record of 12-8-2 (26 points). The red hot Capitals came in at 17-4-5 and in sole possession of first place in the Metropolitan division. Tampa Bay captain Steven Stamkos returned to the lineup after missing the last 3 games due to injury.
The Lightning came out a bit sluggish in the early parts of this game. Goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy was tested early on. After taking the game’s first two shots, Tampa Bay was outshot 14-5 throughout the rest of the first period. The most dangerous scoring chance came on an Evgeni Kuznetsov breakaway that Vasilevskiy was able to save to keep the score tied.
Tampa Bay earned the game’s first power play when Lars Eller was called for interference at the 8:17 mark. The Lightning got one shot on net during that opportunity but were not able to cash in. Brayden Point missed a chance from the slot directly in front of Washington goalie Braden Holtby but fired the shot high.
Point gets redemption on power play to notch milestone 100th career goal
After a bit of back and forth action at either end of the ice, the Bolts went on the power play once again. This time, Richard Panik was called for high sticking on Ondrej Palat. With redemption on his mind, Brayden Point buried a shot from the same slot position he regrettably missed from on the first power play chance.
The goal marked the 100th of Point’s career and 9th of the 2019-2020 season. After one period of play, Tampa Bay lead Washington 1-0, with the Capitals holding a 14-7 shot advantage.
— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) November 29, 2019
Sergachev, Kuznetsov trade goals early on in period 2
Although the Lightning carried a 1-0 lead into the second period, the momentum and scoring chances were on Washington’s side through the first 20 minutes. Tampa Bay set out to shift that momentum and did it with great success early in the period. At the 4:28 mark, Mikhail Sergachev received a pass from Nikita Kucherov and fired a shot on Holtby. After the initial save, the puck rebounded behind Holtby. Sergachev took his own rebound and knocked the puck in to give the Bolts a 2-0 lead.
23 seconds later, Sergachev found himself in the penalty box on an interference call. It only took 26 seconds of power play time for the Capitals to take advantage. T.J. Oshi and Evgeni Kuznetsov sped behind the Lightning defense into the zone. Oshi delivered a perfect pass to the stick of Kuznetsov who converted to get Washington on the board.
A few minutes later, a skirmish ensued in front of the Capitals net. After a save by Holtby on a Yanni Gourde shot, Gourde took one more swipe at the pad of the Washington netminder. This caused retaliation from Kuznetsov who threw a punch toward Gourde that mostly connected with a referee. Both players were given minor penalties for roughing.
Late in the second period, Alex Killorn extended the Lightning lead to 3-1 when he buried a shot from the right circle.
Tampa Bay kept the pressure and momentum for the majority of the period. As a result, they turned a 14-7 shot deficit into a 21-19 advantage after 2 periods.
Capitals battle back
Trailing 3-1, Washington needed a momentum shift of their own to get back in this game. Jakub Vrana provided the spark the Capitals needed to do just that. At 3:45 of the period, Vrana split through 2 Lightning players and dished a quick pass to T.J. Oshi immediately returned pass to Vrana who was now set up at right circle. Consequently, Vrana buried a one timer past Andrei Vasilevskiy. The shot went in so clean and so fast that announcers and fans alike thought the shot was saved.
With the score now 3-2, Washington went back on the power play thanks to a holding penalty on Nikita Kucherov. Again, the Capitals converted as Alex Ovechkin notched his 675th career goal to bring the score even at 3.
The remainder of the third period was littered with scoring chances for the Bolts. However, their opportunities came up empty on misfires and tremendous saves by Braden Holtby.
Due to their inability to find the net before regulation expired, the Lightning were forced to play an extra 3 on 3 frame with the Capitals.
Orlov completes the comeback
A little over three minutes into overtime, Dimitry Orlov received a pass from Evgeni Kuznetsov at the blue line. Orlov skated in and fired the game winning shot past Andrei Vasilevskiy to complete the comeback for the Capitals.
The Lightning settled for one point in a game that they had control of through 40 minutes. It was another disappointing result in a hard fought game against one of the NHL’s elite teams.
- Dimitry Orlov – 1 G, 1 A
- T.J. Oshie – 3 A
- Nikita Kucherov – 3 A
Up next for the Lightning
As a result of yet another bizarre scheduling decision by the NHL, the Bolts will return home for the second part of a road/home back to back. After a home game Wednesday night, Tampa Bay traveled to Washington only to return home the next day. The Lightning will face the Carolina Hurricanes at Amalie Arena on Saturday night.
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For previous postgame recaps, click here.
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