2 - 1 Final - 2OT
  for this game

Caps knock off Lightning in SO, pad division lead

Mar 8, 2011 - 4:41 AM
Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - Alex Ovechkin scored the lone goal in the shootout, as the Washington Capitals padded their Southeast Division lead with a 2-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning at St. Pete Times Forum.

Ovechkin wrapped up the opening round of the shootout by roofing a shot over Tampa Bay's Dwayne Roloson. Braden Holtby, who was called upon to relieve Washington starting netminder Michal Neuvirth after the latter was struck in the head by a Nate Thompson shot early in the contest, turned away the Lightning's trio of Dominic Moore, Adam Hall and Vincent Lecavalier.

Neuvirth stayed in the crease through the opening 20 minutes, but was on the bench at the outset of the second period. Holtby made 21 saves the rest of the way for Washington, which tied the game on Alexander Semin's goal with 5:32 left in regulation.

"I think it's one of the tougher things to do, but you have so much adrenaline, especially at this level, when you get told you're going in that you usually feed off it and hope for the best," Holtby said.

The Capitals have won five straight and moved two points ahead of Tampa Bay in the division standings.

Roloson stopped 29 shots for the Lightning, who were dealt their fourth consecutive loss.

"We came out real strong and did what we needed to do to win. Again, it doesn't turn our way," said Tampa Bay head coach Guy Boucher.

The Lightning needed just four seconds to convert on their second power play opportunity. Martin St. Louis fired a wrister from the right point that Sean Bergenheim redirected past Neuvirth, giving Tampa Bay a 1-0 lead at the 12:30 mark of the first period.

Semin knotted the score with his 24th goal of the season -- all of which have come in Washington wins.

Game Notes

The Capitals have won five straight on the road...Washington's last eight victories have been by one goal...The Capitals won four of the six meetings with the Lightning this season...Washington won for the 20th time when allowing the first goal.