Written by Renee Garces
Photos by Brittney Marcum
It was an electric night in the phone booth as the Washington Capitals battled the Tampa Bay Lightning to take the lead and the win. The game started out defensively, no shots on goal until Alex Ovechkin gets one at the 6:23 mark. Tampa Bay forward Alex Killorn scores on the Bolts’ first shot on goal, 1-0, at the 8:18 mark of the first period.
The speed of the game only increased from there.
Caps captain Alex Ovechkin was fired up for the game, hitting and shooting the puck. At the 6:54 mark of the second period, Andrej Sustr makes it 2-0 Tampa. Bolts captain, Steven Stamkos, ended his longest ever goal drought with a blast past Braden Holtby, 3-0. For the first time this season, Holtby was pulled from the goal crease and Philipp Grubauer comes in relief.
On the power play, thanks to a Stamkos slash, Ovechkin takes a pass from T.J. Oshie and puts the Caps on the board, 3-1.
In the third period, Matt Niskanen just destroys J.T. Brown in open ice. A big save by Grubauer denies the Bolts, and then Oshie rips one past Bishop, 3-2. On the power play, again, Ovi buries one and the game became tied 3-3. Marcus Johansson scores his sixth of the season on the power play and the Caps suddenly have a 4-3 lead with 5:44 left in the game. MoJo’s goal happened because of beautiful passing from Oshie and Ovechkin.
Oshie ices the win with an empty net goal, assisted by Nicklas Backstrom and Ovechkin. With that assist, Backstrom collects his 600th NHL point. Caps win 5-3 and now, because they have a game in-hand on the Dallas Stars, have the best record in the league.
A career milestone for Jason Chimera, who played in his 900th career NHL game tonight.
Nicklas Backstrom picked up his 600th career point in 605 games.
Alex Ovechkin with his two PP goals and two assists had his 101st career multi-goal game.
Caps will hold practice on Saturday at 11:30 at Kettler IcePlex.
Next game: Sunday 20 December NY Rangers. Game time 7 pm. View on CSN-DC, NHLN-US, and MSG
Monday 21 December Carolina Hurricanes at 7 pm. View on CSN-DC and FoxSports-CR
Read more by Renne on her personal blog, Between the Blue Lines