NHL Game Summary - Tampa Bay at Washington
(Thursday, January 1st)
Final Score: Washington 7, Tampa Bay 4
Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Alex Ovechkin had a goal and two assists as the streaking Washington Capitals routed the Tampa Bay Lightning, 7-4, at Verizon Center.
Matt Bradley, Boyd Gordon and Mike Green each registered a goal and an assist for the Caps, who have won five straight games and 10 of their last 11 overall. Chris Clark, David Steckel and Sean Collins all lit the lamp in the win while Brent Johnson made 23 saves for Southeast Division-leading Washington.
Vincent Lecavalier struck twice for the Lightning, who have dropped two in a row after a three-game win streak. Mark Recchi scored, as did Ryan Malone, who now has seven points over his last four games. Martin St. Louis had three helpers and Vaclav Prospal had two. Mike Smith made 28 saves in defeat.
Tampa Bay's Jamie Heward left the game on a stretcher in the third period with a concussion after getting checked into the boards by Ovechkin.
The Lightning struck 58 seconds into the second period. Prospal skated in along the right boards, and as he got to the right circle, he maneuvered a pass around a diving defender for Lecavalier, who wristed a shot past a sprawling Johnson to trim the Caps' lead to 3-1.
Malone went top shelf 1:39 later to make it a one-goal affair, but 11 seconds after that Bradley scored after he and Gordon stole the puck from Smith, who was behind the net, to make it 4-2.
Lecavalier added a goal with 16 seconds left in the second, and it was 4-3 heading into the second intermission.
Gordon intercepted Smith's attempt to clear the puck and wristed it into a wide-open net at the 8:07 mark of the third period to make it 5-3.
Recchi and Clark scored 25 seconds apart towards the middle of the third, and it was 6-4.
Ovechkin added a late goal to account for the final tally.
The Caps took an early 1-0 lead on a Collins wrister that Ovechkin assisted on. A little over four minutes later, Steckel made it 2-0 on a tip-in.
Bradley skated in along the right boards and slid a pass across the slot to Steckel, who redirected the disc into the net for the two-goal lead at the 8:02 mark.
With 1:31 left in the first, Ovechkin picked up a loose puck behind the net and skated up along the left boards. He quickly fired a pass across the slot that Green one-timed past Smith for a 3-0 lead for the home team.
It was Collins' first career goal...The Caps have a 16-1-1 record as the host this season. Washington's last loss at home -- and its only regulation setback in D.C. this year -- came on December 2 against Florida. The Capitals have won seven in a row at Verizon Center since the loss to the Panthers...Tampa is 6-11-3 as the visiting team this year...Thursday's encounter marked the second of six meetings between the Caps and Bolts this year. Washington defeated the Lightning, 4-2, in D.C. on November 10 to win its sixth straight game in the series...The Capitals have now won nine of their last 12 against Tampa, as well as four in a row and six of their last seven versus the Lightning in the nation's capital.
01/01 22:32:33 ET