NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Sunday, March 18th
(All times eastern)
Tampa Bay Lightning (39-29-4) at Washington Capitals (25-34-13), 1 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Washington Capitals take a shot at achieving their
first winning streak in over two months when they entertain the Tampa Bay
Lightning in a divisional matchup this afternoon at the Verizon Center.
Washington finally managed to end its nine-game losing streak on Friday, when
the Southeast cellar-dwellers cruised to a 5-1 home victory over Toronto. The
Capitals received a sharp 34-save performance from goaltender Olaf Kolzig,
while Alexander Semin led the offense with a goal and two assists.
Alex Giroux scored his first NHL goal in the triumph, while Boyd Gordon, Kris
Beech and Tomas Fleischmann also tallied to help Washington stop its longest
skid since a 13-game slide from October 11-November 11, 1981.
The Capitals, who are a miserable 2-9-5 over their last 16 outings, haven't
won back-to-back contests since putting together a three-game win streak from
Friday's win also halted a seven-game losing streak for Washington at the
Verizon Center, where the Caps have gone 15-15-7 thus far on the season.
Tampa Bay will be attempting to rebound from consecutive losses to Toronto and
Buffalo, with the most recent setback a 3-2 home defeat to the Eastern
Conference-leading Sabres on Friday.
Vincent Lecavalier had both Lightning goals to extend his NHL-leading total to
48. The All-Star center also ranks second in the league with 96 points and has
compiled seven goals and five assists during a seven-game scoring tear.
Dan Boyle extended his point streak to six games with an assist in Friday's
loss. He has accumulated two goals and four helpers over that span.
Tampa Bay enters today's play four points behind first-place Atlanta in the
Southeast standings and is holding down the sixth playoff seed in the East.
Following this afternoon's tilt, the Lightning return home to host the New
York Islanders on Tuesday, the first of four straight games for Tampa Bay at
the St. Pete Times Forum.
The Lightning also look to extend a string of four consecutive wins over the
Caps, who have dropped five of the six games played between the teams this
season. Tampa Bay has also come away victorious in each of its previous three
trips to Washington in 2006-07.
03/18 10:21:50 ET