for this game

Capitals streak out, hang on vs. Lightning

Jan 2, 2009 - 6:03 AM
By Tim Hipps PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- The Washington Capitals scored three first-period goals and matched their season high by pushing their winning streak to five games with a 7-4 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday.

Alex Ovechkin, David Steckel, Mike Green, Matt Bradley, Boyd Gordon and captain Chris Clark scored goals, and Sean Collins added his first NHL tally as the Capitals improved to an Eastern Conference-best 16-1-1 at home before a sellout crowd of 18,277 at Verizon Center.

The crowd grew silent when Lightning defenseman Jamie Heward, a former Washington player, suffered a concussion and had to be carried from the ice on a stretcher at 13:15 of the third period.

Ovechkin checked Heward hard into the boards head-first and rushed to see if his former teammate was OK when play was stopped.

"I didn't want to hit him hard, he just turned," Ovechkin said. "It was (an) accident and I'm very sorry. I never want to hurt somebody, especially my old teammate. It's hard and I'm very sorry, but it's a game and it's a moment. He turns and I have speed. I don't know. ... He just turned at the last second. It's hard for me. He was my teammate and I know him well. ... I hope he is OK."

"I would be shaken up, too," Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau said. "Alex knows Jamie. He is a passionate person about everything he does. I would think that it's going to upset him, but once he finds out Jamie's OK, he's going to be fine. I don't think it will change the way he plays."

Heward was taken to Sibley Memorial Hospital for further evaluation after receiving a standing ovation from the crowd while being carted off the rink.

"He was moving his arms," Lightning coach Rick Tocchet said. "He was unconscious for about a minute and a half. So we made sure that we called his wife. I don't know for sure, but it seems that it's hopefully positive. We'll keep him (in the hospital) overnight."

Clark's first goal of the season off assists from Michael Nylander and Green gave the Capitals a 6-4 lead at 12:47 of the third period.

Ovechkin's tally from Nicklas Backstrom capped the scoring at 18:14 of the third for the Capitals, who have won 10 of their last 11 games.

Mark Recchi scored on Martin St. Louis' third assist of the game to pull the Lightning within 5-4 at 12:22 of the third.

"You sort of get reeling a bit and you're not able to stop their momentum because they kept coming," Boudreau said. "They came out of the second period very hard at us. We weren't as sharp as we'd like to be. I think it was one of those games that just looked off.

"We got some lucky breaks. I think their goalie gave us three. We haven't had that in a while where we've gotten some breaks, and we'll take them."

Vincent Lecavalier's second goal of the game from Vaclav Prospal and St. Louis pulled Tampa Bay within 4-3 at 19:44 of the second.

"They took it to us early on, but I thought we battled back," said St. Louis, who leads the Lightning with 21 assists. "We stayed with it and tried to climb out of the hole. It's just hard when you dig a hole."

Capitals' goalie Brent Johnson, who stopped 22 of 27 shots, made a sweeping glove save of Adam Hall's penalty shot at 9:59 of the second.

"Yeah, it was a barn-burner," Johnson said. "It's definitely one of those games that's difficult to play. It felt good to get back in there, get some work, and help the guys get a win."

After Washington grabbed a 3-0 lead with a furious first period, the Lightning pulled within 3-2 on second-period goals by Ryan Malone and Lecavalier.

"It seemed like we weren't ready to play," Tocchet said. "When you're playing a hot team, a first-place team, you can't come into this game not ready to play. Some guys we were counting on weren't ready to play. We were looking for some older guys to step up. They really didn't play well."

Boudreau, who took the Capitals' reins on Thanksgiving Day of 2007, worked his 100th game behind Washington's bench.

"It's still brand new," said Boudreau, who has led the Capitals to a 62-28-10 record. "It's refreshing. Every day I get excited when I come to the rink."

The clash was the first of a four-game homestand for the Capitals, who also will play host to the New York Rangers, Philadelphia and Columbus.

"We just want to keep this thing going," Johnson said. "We've got four games at home. We won one tonight and we just want to keep it going and build off it. I think what we're doing is all positive - we just have to tighten up a bit here and there, but we looked good."






  • 20
    roots
    MattDOOM777 Added 5 roots

    Lightning 4, Capitals 7  FinalJan 2 7:39 AM
  • 15
    roots
    #1 Cards Fan Added 10 roots

    Lightning 4, Capitals 7  FinalJan 2 4:46 AM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 0 3 1 4
    WASHINGTON 3 1 3 7 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: WAS - SEAN COLLINS 1 (ALEX OVECHKIN, SHAONE MORRISONN) 3:58
    WAS - DAVID STECKEL 5 (MATT BRADLEY, MILAN JURCINA) 8:02
    WAS - MIKE GREEN 9 (ALEX OVECHKIN, VIKTOR KOZLOV) 18:29
    2ND PRD: TAM - VINCENT LECAVALIER 15 (VACLAV

    Jan 1 9:47 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 4
    WASHINGTON 7
    3RD PRD: WAS - ALEX OVECHKIN 26 (NICKLAS BACKSTROM) 18:14

    Lightning 4, Capitals 7  3rd - 1:46Jan 1 9:41 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 3
    WASHINGTON 6
    3RD PRD: WAS - CHRIS CLARK 1 (MICHAEL NYLANDER, MIKE GREEN) 12:47

    Lightning 3, Capitals 6  3rd - 7:13Jan 1 9:34 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 3
    WASHINGTON 5
    3RD PRD: WAS - BOYD GORDON 5 (UNASSISTED) 8:07

    Lightning 3, Capitals 5  3rd - 11:53Jan 1 9:22 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 0 3 3
    WASHINGTON 3 1 4 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: WAS - SEAN COLLINS 1 (ALEX OVECHKIN, SHAONE MORRISONN) 3:58
    WAS - DAVID STECKEL 5 (MATT BRADLEY, MILAN JURCINA) 8:02
    WAS - MIKE GREEN 9 (ALEX OVECHKIN, VIKTOR KOZLOV) 18:29
    2ND PRD: TAM - VINCENT LECAVALI

    Jan 1 8:42 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 3
    WASHINGTON 4
    2ND PRD: TAM - VINCENT LECAVALIER 16 (VACLAV PROSPAL, MARTIN ST.
    LOUIS) 19:44

    Lightning 3, Capitals 4  2nd - 0:16Jan 1 8:42 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 2
    WASHINGTON 4
    2ND PRD: WAS - MATT BRADLEY 4 (BOYD GORDON) 2:48

    Lightning 2, Capitals 4  2nd - 17:12Jan 1 8:23 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 2
    WASHINGTON 3
    2ND PRD: TAM - RYAN MALONE 9 (JEFF HALPERN) 2:34

    Lightning 2, Capitals 3  2nd - 17:26Jan 1 8:11 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 1
    WASHINGTON 3
    2ND PRD: TAM - VINCENT LECAVALIER 15 (VACLAV PROSPAL, MARTIN ST.
    LOUIS) 0:58

    Lightning 1, Capitals 3  2nd - 19:02Jan 1 8:06 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 0 0
    WASHINGTON 3 3 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: WAS - SEAN COLLINS 1 (ALEX OVECHKIN, SHAONE MORRISONN) 3:58
    WAS - DAVID STECKEL 5 (MATT BRADLEY, MILAN JURCINA) 8:02
    WAS - MIKE GREEN 9 (ALEX OVECHKIN, VIKTOR KOZLOV) 18:29
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND

    Jan 1 7:43 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 0
    WASHINGTON 3
    1ST PRD: WAS - MIKE GREEN 9 (ALEX OVECHKIN, VIKTOR KOZLOV) 18:29

    Lightning 0, Capitals 3  1st - 1:31Jan 1 7:42 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 0
    WASHINGTON 2
    1ST PRD: WAS - DAVID STECKEL 5 (MATT BRADLEY, MILAN JURCINA) 8:02

    Lightning 0, Capitals 2  1st - 11:58Jan 1 7:21 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 0
    WASHINGTON 1
    1ST PRD: WAS - SEAN COLLINS 1 (ALEX OVECHKIN, SHAONE MORRISONN) 3:58

    Lightning 0, Capitals 1  1st - 16:02Jan 1 7:19 PM
  • 5
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    xxpatriotsfan Added 5 roots

    Lightning vs. CapitalsNov 18 4:42 PM