What a bizarre game with a disconcerting outcome.
Johan Holmqvist stopped just 10 of 13 shots he faced for the loss before giving way to Marc Denis who stopped 5 of 6 before Washington tacked on an empty net goal. The Lightning outshot the Caps by a stunning 50-20 margin including a 16 shot first period and a mind blowing 25 shot third period. Olaf Kolzig, however, was up to the task. Dan Boyle had 2 assists to lead the Lightning attack. Nick Tarnasky and Vincent Lecavalier scored the Lightning goals. For Tarnasky, it was his first in the NHL with Blair Jones and Ryan Craig getting individual assists in the game.
The downside of the night's outcome is the team squandered an opportunity to move into a tie for second in the division with Carolina and to pick up a point against Atlanta. On paper, the Lightning's schedule in December and January looks potentially brutal so the Lightning must get points when they play lesser opponents like Washington. You can't necessarily fault their effort tonight against the Caps, but the points left on the table still hurt.
Washington 14:12, Kris Beech 2 (Matt Pettinger, Alexander Semin)
Washington 1:53, Boyd Gordon 2 (shorthanded) (Matt Pettinger)
Washington 16:29, Alexander Semin 9 (Brian Sutherby, Steve Eminger)
Washington 18:30, Chris Clark 6 (Alexander Ovechkin, John Erskine)
Tampa Bay 5:10, Nick Tarnasky 1 (Blair Jones, Dan Boyle)
Tampa Bay 10:03, Vincent Lecavalier 11 (Ryan Craig, Dan Boyle)
Washington 18:51, Alexander Ovechkin 16 (empty net) (unassisted)
Game sheet from NHL.com.