Capitals 3, Lightning 2
Scoresheet - Wash Post - Wash Times
If you were doing the same thing I was doing when the Tampa Bay Lightning scored the tying goal with 3:38 to go, you would be buying a new TV remote tomorrow and explaining to your wife why there is a hole in the wall. Could this really be happening, the exact same breakdown two nights in a row where the Caps get the lead then blow it late in the third? It was certainly looking that way until Alex Semin tapped a rebound past Johan Holqvist to give the Caps the lead for good. The Caps escape a wild third period with a much needed two points.
Tomas Fleischmann seems to be finding his scoring grove as he started the scoring with a power play tally in the first. After that it became a goaltender duel between Holmqvist and Olie Kolzig. As much as I have made fun of Kolzig this season, he has been pretty good in tough games. He was fantastic in this match up turning away almost 36 shots before the Lightning finally slipped one past him and finished the night with 39 saves. The Caps were able to make it 2-0 on a perfect 2 on 1 by Dave Steckel and Matt Bradley. Steckel scored, Bradley's dad was interviewed between periods, it worked well for all involved.
But the Lightning turned their game to a whole new level and actually tied the game at 2 with under 4 minutes to play. They kept the Caps on their heels and Bruce Boudreau had to take a time out to settle his boys down after the second goal. What ever he said to the troops, I guarantee you that Alex Semin didn't understand it ('cause he doesn't speak english), but he did know the team needed a clutch goal and he delivered. Semin tipped a rebound shot from Mike Green (Viktor Kozlov deflected the shot) for the game winner. To be honest I had to look twice to make sure it was Semin because he jumped against the boards in a Ovechkin-esque way after the goal.
The Caps win, and they do it with Alex Ovechkin off of the scoresheet. Ovie was held pointless and was a -1. The Capitals found goals and a way to win, albeit a very unconventional way of doing it. The Cardiac Caps are finding ways for me to do home improvement projects on the weekend (i.e. filling holes in walls).
This win was a big one for the Caps as they have pushed back up to second place in a tie with Atlanta who lost tonight, and are two points behind Carolina who helped the Caps out in a way by beating Florida. Although, the Caps could have come out of this weekend with twice the points and they know it. If they had won all three contests, they would be in sole position of first place a point ahead of Carolina. But to win on the road in the NHL is not an easy thing to do for any team. The Caps should be satisfied with their 3 points and with in a game of Carolina. If Carolina had lost to Florida, there would have been a 4 way tie in the Southeast Division with only Tampa Bay out of the loop (but hey, the Bolts would have been in 2nd place).
It's a much needed day off for the Capitals Sunday as many of them will stay in Florida to hang out with their dads who traveled along with the team through this road swing. But it's back to work Monday morning and the Islanders visit the phone booth on Wednesday night. The Caps can ill afford to let up off the gas now as they are in the thick of it. Keep winning and they will be in the playoffs, keep losing and I will have to either pad my walls or buy a nerf remote control.