Capitals 2, Lightning 5
Scoresheet - Wash Post
It is difficult for a team to play on back to back nights in the NHL. To play two teams that have been hot of late like the Panthers and the Lightning takes a toll on a team both physically and mentally. The Capitals sure didn't look heavy of foot against the Lightning, but couldn't cough up a win in Tampa Bay. Honestly, I expected Lightning to blow out the Caps at the St. Pete Times Forum.
The Caps had more chances to not only tie the score up, but come back and win. But it's the same old story for the Washington squad, they failed to capitalize on their opportunities. Of course the Caps are a miserable 6-31-6 when their opponent scores first. Come backs are not in the Capitals' vocabulary. Special teams again fail the Capitals as the last two goals the Lightning scored were a power play tally (on a strange penalty call on Alex Semin who threw the puck out of the zone and called for closing his hand over the puck) and a shorthanded goal.
When the Caps pulled within 2 after a rare Matt Bradley goal, head coach Glen Hanlon pulled Olie Kolzig. Instead of the Caps getting the two goals they needed to tie the game, the Caps again found themselves down 3 goals after an empty netter from Jason Ward.
There was no need to pull the goaltender, the Caps were still down two goals with only :54 seconds left after Bradley's tally. It wasn't a chance to tie the game. It was an embarrassing exclamation point the Lightning put on this win. Players remember those kinds of goals and they are moral busters.
You can make it 4 games in a row the Capitals couldn't crack in to the three stars of the game.