Lightning best Caps to spoil Oates' debutJan 20, 2013 - 4:51 AM
Eric Brewer also scored twice, while Vincent Lecavalier and Cory Conacher added a goal apiece for the Lightning, who fell to the Boston Bruins in seven games in the second round of last season's playoffs.
Anders Lindback stopped 27 shots in the victory.
Joel Ward netted a pair of goals and Wojtek Wolski added another tally for Washington. Braden Holtby allowed all six Tampa goals on 34 shots to spoil the coaching debut of recent Hall of Fame inductee Adam Oates.
"It felt good to contribute," said Ward. "You try to finish your opportunities if you can and today I was fortunate to get a couple."
The game entered the third period tied at 3-3, and St. Louis was able to put the Lightning on top for good during their second power play of the period when he ripped a slap shot past Lindback from the high slot at the 4:57 mark.
Washington was issued a man advantage a little over two minutes later when Tom Pyatt was called for holding, but they could not record the equalizer and Conacher later finished off an odd-man rush with 6:36 left in the game to supply an insurance goal.
Brewer's power-play tally with 3:18 remaining put the game away and accounted for the final margin.
"It was a great character win and we have got to build on that," Lightning center Steven Stamkos said.
After Washington failed to convert on a pair of early power plays, Tampa Bay took the lead 6:24 into the first period on Brewer's wrister from the top of the left circle that sailed into the top-right corner.
Washington, however, was able to capitalize on its third power play of the first period when Ward stuffed the puck past Lindback while in a scrum up close two minutes later.
But Lecavalier cleaned up a rebound with a hard wrister from the right of the net to give the Lightning back the lead with 10:59 left in the opening stanza.
Tampa Bay could not capitalize on its first power play of the season when Troy Brouwer was whistled for boarding with 5:59 remaining in the first period to keep it a 2-1 game heading into the first intermission.
The Capitals quickly tied the game just 1:59 into the second period on Ward's second goal of the contest, but Tampa Bay was issued a power play at the 4:06 mark of the frame when Jason Chimera was called for roughing and St. Louis fired a Lecavalier feed inside the left post a little over a minute later to regain the lead.
Washington was able to make it 3-3 game in the closing moments of the second period when an offensive zone turnover by the Lightning resulted in Wolski slipping a Mike Ribeiro rebound past Lindback with 1:45 left in the frame.
Conacher received an assist on St. Louis' first goal to record his first career point before netting his first-ever goal ... Tampa Bay went 3-for-7 on the power play ... The Capitals were 1-for-4 with the man advantage.
- WASHINGTON: 3
TAMPA BAY: 6
Jan 19 9:49 PM
- Tampa Bay Power-Play Goal - Eric Brewer (2), at 16:42.
Capitals 3, Lightning 6 3rd - 3:18Jan 19 9:43 PM
- Tampa Bay Goal - Cory Conacher, from Teddy Purcell at 13:24.
Capitals 3, Lightning 5 3rd - 6:36Jan 19 9:35 PM
- Tampa Bay Power-Play Goal - Martin St. Louis (2), from Steven Stamkos and Teddy Purcell at 4:57.
Capitals 3, Lightning 4 3rd - 15:03Jan 19 9:18 PM
- WASHINGTON: 3
TAMPA BAY: 3
End of 2nd
Jan 19 8:51 PM
- Washington Goal - Wojtek Wolski, from Mike Ribeiro at 18:15.
Capitals 3, Lightning 3 2nd - 1:45Jan 19 8:49 PM
- Tampa Bay Goal - Martin St. Louis, at 5:11.
Capitals 2, Lightning 3 2nd - 14:49Jan 19 8:20 PM
- Martin St. Louis slap shot on Braden Holtby.
Capitals 2, Lightning 2 2nd - 17:00Jan 19 8:16 PM
- WASHINGTON: 1
TAMPA BAY: 2
End of 1st
Jan 19 7:51 PM
- Tampa Bay Goal - Vincent Lecavalier, at 9:09.
Capitals 1, Lightning 2 1st - 10:51Jan 19 7:28 PM
- Washington Power-Play Goal - Joel Ward, from Tom Poti at 8:25.
Capitals 1, Lightning 1 1st - 11:35Jan 19 7:27 PM
- Tampa Bay Goal - Eric Brewer, at 6:24.
Capitals 0, Lightning 1 1st - 13:36Jan 19 7:21 PM
- WASHINGTON: 0
TAMPA BAY: 0
1st Period - 20:00
Jan 19 7:06 PM
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