NHL Game Summary - Washington at Tampa Bay
(Friday, February 4th)
Final Score: Washington 5, Tampa Bay 2
Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - Alex Ovechkin notched a goal and three assists to lead Washington over Tampa Bay, 5-2, in a Southeast Division clash at St. Pete Times Forum.
Nicklas Backstrom added two goals and two helpers for the Capitals, who pulled within three points of first-place Tampa by snapping a three-game losing streak.
"It felt like a playoff game out there tonight, even if we were slowing it down," said Backstrom. "I think it was just our strategy and wins like this are big for us."
Semyon Varlamov made 23 saves for the victory.
Teddy Purcell and Brett Clark scored for the Lightning, who had surged to the top of the division with a six-game winning streak that just ended.
Dwayne Roloson, who registered shutouts in each of his last two starts against the Caps, surrendered four goals on 35 shots.
"Our grinding guys, the guys who are supposed to shut down, didn't shut it down," said Tampa head coach Guy Boucher. "Our defensemen didn't transition the puck well either. It was one of those games where nobody played well."
Bacsktrom converted an Ovechkin rebound with 7:38 left in regulation to give the Capitals a 4-2 advantage, then after Roloson was pulled for an extra skater with 1:25 remaining, Jason Chimera hit the empty net with assistance from Ovechkin with 37.1 seconds to play.
The Lightning struck first, at 3:21 of the first period when Purcell's shot from the right wing hit the net inside the left post. Bacsktrom answered for the Caps in a 4-on-4 situation at 9:09.
Washington took a 2-1 lead when Brooks Laich flipped a backhander over Roloson from the slot at 6:38 of the second period, then Ovechkin fired home a man- advantage score from the left circle at 8:25.
Clark brought the Bolts to a goal with 41 seconds left in the second during a power play, with a tip-in off a Purcell chance.
Ovechkin set a season high for points in one game, while Backstrom equaled his season-best...Prior to the game, Tampa Bay named Dave Andreychuk and Phil Esposito as vice presidents...Washington has won three of the five meetings this season, with one more scheduled for Tampa on March 7.
02/05 00:11:11 ET