Tampa Bay Lightning
Lightning erase huge deficit, lose in overtime
Scoring goals has never been an issue for Tampa Bay, it's all about preventing them.
That was on full display on Saturday as Tampa Bay twice fell behind the Capitals by four goals only to come roaring back with three third-period goals to tie the game and force overtime. But Mike Green saved the victory for Washington, 6-5, with a power play goal with 2:01 left in the extra period, leaving the Lightning with a single point earned.
Richard Panik and Marty St. Louis each scored twice - both notching goals in the third-period rally - while Teddy Purcell scored late for Tampa Bay in regulation to send the game to overtime.
Alex Ovechkin had his league-leading 27th goal of the season - one more than Steven Stamkos - while Troy Brouwer, Jack Hillen, Jason Chimera and Eric Fehr also scored for Washington. Braden Holtby finished with 35 saves.
At times early on Saturday, the Capitals looked like they were toying with the Lightning, particularly in a dominating first period that could have been disastrous if not for the play of Ben Bishop, who was under siege early and did his best to keep Washington at bay while killing off three penalties - including a four-minute Washington power play - in the opening 10 minutes of the game.
But by the fourth Capitals' power play chance, Washington finally found the back of the net as Brouwer with a one-timer from the inner edge of the right circle at 13:45, which all but opened the floodgates. Hillen came down as the trailing defenseman to find a Jay Beagle pass and wrist a shot to the opposite post past a sliding Bishop with 1:15 left.
Ovechkin made it 3-0 with 37.7 seconds left, getting behind the Tampa Bay defense for a partial breakaway and getting around Bishop as the Capitals ended the period with a 20-6 shot advantage, with Ovechkin matching the Lightning with six shots of his own.
That ended the night for Bishop, who received little help in front of him, but Mathieu Garon didn't fare much better as the Lightning gave up a 3-on-1 rush seconds after a handful of solid scoring chances, with Chimera receiving a pass back from Matthieu Perreault 2:41 into the second period.
Richard Panik pulled one back for Tampa Bay at 3:55, but another nice pass from Perreault, patiently waiting before sending a soft pass back to the crease where Fehr tapped the puck in, made it 5-1 at 5:26. Marty St. Louis then scored his 10th of the season, taking a Stamkos pass and fluttering a shot past Holtby with 1:13 left in the second to make it 5-2.
From that point, Tampa Bay turned the tables and started to toy with Washington, outshooting the Capitals 34-18 in the final two periods plus overtime.
Tampa Bay made a game of it in the third as Panik scored his second of the night on a one-handed redirect of a Radko Gudas shot to make it 5-3 while St. Louis found a rebound of a Victor Hedman shot while on one knee at 8:17.
Purcell then tied the game, taking a nice pass from behind the net by Tom Pyatt, pulling the puck to his backhand and finding the five-hole on Holtby with 2:35 left to tie the game.
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