NHL Game Summary - Washington at Tampa Bay|
(Saturday, March 31st)
Final Score: Tampa Bay 5, Washington 2
Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - Vincent Lecavalier had a goal and two assists as
the Tampa Bay Lightning inched closer to securing a playoff berth with a 5-2
win over the Washington Capitals at St. Pete Times Forum.
Martin St. Louis and Dan Boyle each added a goal and an assist for the
Lightning, who have won their last two games.
"It was a good game for us and I felt pretty comfortable, too," said
Lecavalier. "I think right now we're playing as good as we can. We're playing
hard, we're playing desperate."
Johan Holmqvist stopped 23 shots for Tampa Bay, which has 90 points and sits
in the sixth spot in the Eastern Conference, one point ahead of the Rangers.
Also, Tampa sits just three points behind Atlanta for first place in the
Matt Pettinger and Matt Bradley each had a goal for the Capitals, who have
dropped their past six contests. Olaf Kolzig stopped 24-of-28 shots.
"They got a good start, but overall I think we hung in there until we
started to take penalties," said Washington coach Glen Hanlon. "Our goalie
battled hard tonight."
Tampa drew first blood in the contest when Lecavalier scored his league-
leading 51st goal of the season just 36 seconds into the contest.
Washington tied the game at the 11:16 mark of the first when Pettinger's one-
timer from the low slot slid underneath the right pad of Holmqvist for his
16th goal of the season.
The Lightning, though, regained the lead with 6:31 left in the opening stanza
as Ryan Craig used a defender to set up a screen and snapped a wrist shot
between the pads of Kolzig for a 2-1 advantage.
Tampa made it a 3-1 game with just 1:56 left in the second when Boyle scored a
power-play goal, his 19th marker of the season.
Holmqvist needed to make just five saves in the middle frame to keep
Washington off the board.
The Lightning took a 4-1 advantage 7:35 into the third period as St. Louis
skated in on a 2-on-1, slid a pass from the top of the right circle to
Lecavalier, who immediately fed the puck back to St. Louis for a one-timer
past Kolzig for his 43rd goal of the season.
Washington got a goal back with 53.5 seconds to play as Bradley snapped a
loose puck into the right corner of the net.
Jason Ward, though, sealed the win for Tampa with an empty-net goal in the
final seconds of the contest.
Washington hosts Florida on Tuesday...Tampa Bay hosts Carolina on
Tuesday...Washington went 0-for-2 on the power play while Tampa Bay scored on
one of its two opportunities...Tampa Bay won six of the eight contests against
Washington this season...Lecavalier has a career-high 106 points on the
03/31 23:29:57 ET