Capitals
Lightning
4 - 3 Final - OT
  for this game

Fleischmann plays hero as Capitals stay alive

Mar 28, 2008 - 4:21 AM
TAMPA, Florida (Ticker) -- With time running out in the Washington Capitals' bid to make the playoffs for the first time in four seasons, Tomas Fleischmann picked the perfect time to get his first point in over a month.

Fleischmann tallied 2:27 into overtime to give the Capitals a 4-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday.

Sergei Fedorov had two assists, Cristobal Huet made 23 saves and Alexander Semin forced the extra session with his 24th goal of the season for Washington (39-31-8), which stayed within two points of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

The Boston Bruins (39-28-10), who also won on Thursday, and idle Philadelphia Flyers (39-28-10) currently occupy seventh and eighth place in the East.

The Capitals also moved within two points of the idle Carolina Hurricanes (41-30-6) for first in the Southeast Division.

"It was a big win and we were a desperate team at the end," Washington coach Bruce Boudreau said. "I didn't think we had very much jump, and we looked a little tired. It was a mentally tough game, but we found a way, and that's all that counts right now."

After a battle for the puck behind the net, defenseman Mike Green sent it toward the left of the net, forcing rookie goaltender Karri Ramo out of position. Brooks Laich grabbed the puck and sent it back to Fleischmann, who fired a wrist shot while falling to the ice that sailed into the net before Ramo could recover, giving Washington the win.

"We moved on the blue line 2-on-2 and I shot it," Fleischmann said. "Brooks Laich picked up the puck, scrambled from the net and Brooks passed it to me and it just went in."

"Fleischmann picked a good time to get one," Boudreau said. "It's funny the way fate works because, quite honestly, if (Viktor) Kozlov was feeling any better, he would've been out there with Brooks because those are the three units we go with in overtime."

Kozlov went down late in the third period after blocking a hard shot with his body.

Semin forced overtime with a one-timer from above the right faceoff circle after Fedorov won a draw and sent the puck straight back to his fellow Russian for the shot, tying the game at 3-3 with 4:48 left in the third period.

Laich opened the scoring with a shorthanded goal with 2:02 remaining in the first period.

Fedorov skipped a backhand pass to Laich in front of the net. The 24-year-old moved to the front of the net, faked a backhander and switched to his forehand before slipping in the puck for a 1-0 lead.

With the Lightning still on the power play just 42 seconds later, former Capital Jeff Halpern evened the contest at 1-1.

With traffic forming in front of the net, Michel Ouellet unleashed a hard shot from the point that Huet stopped. But Halpern gathered the rebound and beat the screened netminder from the doorstep for his 18th goal.

The Capitals took a second short-lived lead in the third, when Matt Bradley grabbed defenseman Tom Poti's tipped shot out of the air, dropped it on the ice, spun around and fired it past Ramo at 3:11 for a 2-1 edge.

Tampa Bay responded less than three minutes later as All-Star Vincent Lecavalier notched the 600th point of his career with an assist on blue-liner Alexandre Picard's tally.

Lecavalier beat Kozlov on a faceoff and sent the puck just inside the blue line to Picard, who fired a one-timer over Huet's left shoulder exactly six minutes into the period to forge a 2-2 tie.

"I think that we battled hard up until the end, and you give it all and hopefully the fans see it - that we didn't give in," Picard said. "For the five or six games that we've got left, we're going to play the same way. I thought we battled hard, that's the main thing."

Ouellet's one-timer from the right circle 51 seconds later gave the Lightning a 3-2 advantage before Semin knotted the contest later in the session.

"It's very frustrating," Lightning right wing Martin St. Louis said. "Tied or leading the third, we don't get too many good results. If we could have 10 of those wins go our way, we'd be... We would probably make the playoffs.

"It's the story of the season, bottom line. We have to correct that, because if you can't play a third period in this league, you can't win many games."

Ramo, who missed out on a chance to win back-to-back starts for the first time in his young career, stopped 28 shots.

"Guys are playing hard, but there were some missed assignments and missed opportunities, so that's kind of the way it's gone this year," said Tampa Bay defenseman Dan Boyle, who was sporting a three-inch scar on his neck after inadvertently being cut by Green's skate.






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    Capitals 4, Lightning 3  Final - OTMar 27 11:58 PM


  • NHL
    FINAL IN OT 1ST 2ND 3RD OT TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 1 1 1 1 4
    TAMPA BAY 1 1 1 0 3 FINAL IN OT
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: WAS - (SH) BROOKS LAICH 20 (SERGEI FEDOROV) 17:58
    TAM - JEFF HALPERN 18 (MICHEL OUELLET, SHANE O'BRIEN) 18:40
    2ND PRD: WAS - MATT BRADLEY 7 (BRIAN POTHIER, JEFF SCHULTZ) 3:1

    Mar 27 10:14 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 4
    TAMPA BAY 3
    OT: WAS - TOMAS FLEISCHMANN 9 (BROOKS LAICH, MIKE GREEN) 2:27

    Capitals 4, Lightning 3  End of OTMar 27 10:11 PM
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    Capitals 3, Lightning 3  OT - 4:55Mar 27 10:03 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 3RD GOING INTO OT
    1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 1 1 1 3
    TAMPA BAY 1 1 1 3 GOING INTO OT
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: WAS - (SH) BROOKS LAICH 20 (SERGEI FEDOROV) 17:58
    TAM - JEFF HALPERN 18 (MICHEL OUELLET, SHANE O'BRIEN) 18:40
    2ND PRD: WAS - MATT BRADLEY 7 (BRIAN POTHIER, JEFF SCHULTZ) 3:11
    TAM - ALEXANDRE PICARD 3 (V

    Mar 27 10:01 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 3
    TAMPA BAY 3
    3RD PRD: WAS - ALEXANDER SEMIN 24 (SERGEI FEDOROV) 15:12

    Capitals 3, Lightning 3  3rd - 4:48Mar 27 9:52 PM
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    Capitals 3, Lightning 3  3rd - 4:48Mar 27 9:52 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 2
    TAMPA BAY 3
    3RD PRD: TAM - MICHEL OUELLET 17 (MATHIEU DARCHE, DAN BOYLE) 6:51

    Capitals 2, Lightning 3  3rd - 13:09Mar 27 9:33 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 1 1 2
    TAMPA BAY 1 1 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: WAS - (SH) BROOKS LAICH 20 (SERGEI FEDOROV) 17:58
    TAM - JEFF HALPERN 18 (MICHEL OUELLET, SHANE O'BRIEN) 18:40
    2ND PRD: WAS - MATT BRADLEY 7 (BRIAN POTHIER, JEFF SCHULTZ) 3:11
    TAM - ALEXANDRE PICARD 3 (VIN

    Mar 27 9:10 PM
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    Capitals 2, Lightning 2  2nd - 1:00Mar 27 9:06 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 2
    TAMPA BAY 2
    2ND PRD: TAM - ALEXANDRE PICARD 3 (VINCENT LECAVALIER) 6:00

    Capitals 2, Lightning 2  2nd - 14:00Mar 27 8:43 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 2
    TAMPA BAY 1
    2ND PRD: WAS - MATT BRADLEY 7 (BRIAN POTHIER, JEFF SCHULTZ) 3:11

    Capitals 2, Lightning 1  2nd - 16:49Mar 27 8:37 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 1 1
    TAMPA BAY 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: WAS - (SH) BROOKS LAICH 20 (SERGEI FEDOROV) 17:58
    TAM - JEFF HALPERN 18 (MICHEL OUELLET, SHANE O'BRIEN) 18:40
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WAS 10 10
    TAM

    Mar 27 8:12 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 1
    TAMPA BAY 1
    1ST PRD: TAM - JEFF HALPERN 18 (MICHEL OUELLET, SHANE O'BRIEN) 18:40

    Capitals 1, Lightning 1  1st - 1:20Mar 27 8:11 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 1
    TAMPA BAY 0
    1ST PRD: WAS - (SH) BROOKS LAICH 20 (SERGEI FEDOROV) 17:58

    Capitals 1, Lightning 0  1st - 2:02Mar 27 8:09 PM
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    Capitals vs. LightningMar 27 12:32 PM
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    Capitals vs. LightningMar 5 9:23 PM
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    Capitals vs. LightningJan 24 7:51 AM