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NHL Game Summary - Tampa Bay at Washington



(Thursday, March 4th)

Final Score: Washington 5, Tampa Bay 4

Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Scott Walker scored a pair of third-period goals, including the game-winner in his first game as a Capital, lifting Washington to a 5-4 victory over Tampa Bay.

Mike Knuble scored twice in the second period and Eric Fehr also tallied for the new-look Capitals, who started their post-Olympic schedule on the right foot Wednesday with a 3-1 win over Buffalo to halt a three-game slide.

Semyon Varlamov held on for the win with 25 saves after twice blowing a two- goal lead and allowing two Tampa scores in less than two minutes to tie the game late in the third.

Vincent Lecavalier netted two scores for the Lightning, who have dropped five in a row and opened their second half Tuesday with a lopsided 7-2 loss to Philadelphia.

Steven Stamkos and Steve Downie got the other goals to extend impressive point streaks. Stamkos is carrying a franchise-record 15-game scoring streak, while Downie kept a nine-game streak intact.

Mike Smith was beaten five times on 34 shots to suffer the loss.

Washington made a bevy of moves at the trading deadline on Wednesday and Walker was among them, coming over from Carolina in exchange for a 2010 seventh-round pick

Picked up for his experience and veteran leadership for a postseason run, Walker wasted little time in leading by example.

His backhander between Smith's legs at 10:11 of the third came off a deflected point shot and gave Washington a 4-2 lead.

But it took just 24 seconds for the Bolts to cancel out the score. Lecavalier faked a slap shot on a left-wing rush before snapping one inside the near post.

Stamkos' one-timer in front off a Mattias Ohlund feed less than two minutes later tied things up at 4-4 with 7:32 left in the period.

Walker then shoveled a loose puck past Smith from his knees to put the Caps back on top, 5-4, only 41 seconds later.

"I'm just excited to be here and get the two points for the team," said Walker.

Varlamov buckled down from there and Tampa Bay failed to find an equalizer.

"We never gave up, we worked hard, but a lot of turnovers and some mistakes will cost you against a team like Washington," Lecavalier said.

Fehr let loose a wrister from along the left boards that found its way by Smith to the top right corner for a 1-0 lead at 6:10 of the first. Kurtis Foster's shot from the right point was deflected down and in by Downie for a power-play tally that evened the score at 11:55.

Knuble beat Smith's glove on a 2-on-1 2:17 into the second, then cleaned up a rebound in front to make it 3-1 at 8:21.

Just 42 seconds later, Martin St. Louis hit Lecavalier in stride through the slot for a wrister that beat Varlamov for a 3-2 game after 40 minutes.

Game Notes

Defenseman Joe Corvo, also acquired from Carolina, and former Wild center Eric Belanger also made their debuts with the club Thursday...Knuble has reached 25 goals in three consecutive seasons and in four of the last five...Stamkos has racked up 13 goals and 13 assists during his scoring binge, while Downie has collected five goals and seven assists...St. Louis recorded three assists, while Foster and the Caps' Mike Green had two helpers each.

03/05 01:02:48 ET


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