NHL Game Summary - Tampa Bay at Washington
(Wednesday, October 24th)
Final Score: Washington 5, Tampa Bay 3
Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Chris Clark scored twice as the Washington Capitals got back on the winning track with a 5-3 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Verizon Center.
Alexander Ovechkin had a goal and two assists while Dave Steckel and Brooks Laich each scored a goal for the Capitals, who had lost four straight after starting the season with three consecutive wins.
Olaf Kolzig made 26 saves for Washington, which dropped six of eight games against Tampa Bay last season.
Paul Ranger and Jason Ward each had a goal and an assist for the Lightning, who have dropped three straight road games. Marc Denis stopped 24 shots in a losing effort.
With the score tied at 2-2, the Capitals grabbed the lead with a pair of goals separated by just 61 seconds.
With just 2:19 to play in the second period, Matt Pettinger got the puck to Laich, who flicked a shot past Denis with another Washington player crashing the net.
Moments later, Brian Pothier blasted a shot from the right circle that hit off of Clark and into the net for a 4-2 advantage.
The Lightning made it a one-goal game with under six minutes to play as Vinny Prospal's centering pass from the low right circle was redirected into the net by Martin St. Louis.
The goal revitalized Tampa, as the team had several shots over the remainder of the game, but, despite pulling Denis, was unable to net the equalizer and Ovechkin's empty-net goal with four seconds to go sealed the win.
The Capitals grabbed the early lead as Clark picked up a bouncing puck in the slot and sent a soft wrister that floated over the glove of Denis 6:33 in.
However, Tampa Bay tied the game with 3:20 left in the first. Ranger sent an outlet pass from deep in his end to Brad Richards in the neutral zone. Richards skated the puck in and dished a pass to the left wing where Ward went to the backhand and lifted the disc past Kolzig.
Washington regained the lead on a 3-on-2 rush. Viktor Kozlov dished the puck from the top of the blueline to Ovechkin at the left circle. Ovechkin immediately moved the puck over to the low right circle where Steckel swept it into the net at the 4:43 mark.
The Lightning answered a little less than three minutes later as Ranger took a pass from Richards on a 3-on-2, got behind the defender and snapped a shot between the pads of Kolzig for a shorthanded goal.
It was Steckel's first career goal...Ranger's goal was the first from a Tampa Bay defenseman this season...Before the game, the Capitals activated right winger Alexander Semin from the IR. He had missed six of seven games this season with a sprained right ankle...Washington hosts Vancouver on Friday...The Lightning return home to face Philadelphia on Thursday...Neither team scored on the power play, with Washington having four chances and Tampa Bay three.
10/24 21:48:27 ET