Capitals 0, Lightning 1 OT
Steve Yzerman knew what he was doing when he brought some goaltending muscle in Dwayne Roloson in a trade with the New York Islanders. The Tampa Bay Lightning play the perfect road game against the flat Washington Capitals who were coming off of an emotional Winter Classic win. When the Caps finally got their legs moving, it would be too little, too late as Roloson shut the door and Martin St. Louis puts the finishing touches in overtime as the Lightning take sole possession of first place in the Southeast Division with a score of 1-0.
Semyon Varlamov played as perfect a game as one could with a team that just didn't have much of a jump. He would turn away all of the Lightning 33 shots in regulation. He would face another 5 shots in overtime, but the fifth one got by him after poor coverage in front and an errant rebound landed right on St. Louis' stick. Varly earned the Caps single point tonight.
The Capitals had such a sluggish start that it was hard to believe this was the same team that seemed to out hustle the Pittsburgh Penguins New Year's Day. They only managed 5 shots in the first period. They would pick up the pace in the second period by getting 21 shots to the net, but Roloson was stellar in net. In overtime, the Capitals didn't even get a shot on net.
Again the Capitals' power play failed to convert on three chances, including a golden opportunity in the third period. The Lightning's aggressive penalty kill was partly to blame for the Caps' troubles with the extra man, but the Caps failure to convert even just a single power play goal in tight games is hurting this team.
Caps better find a way to score on the power play and play tougher against their own division as their next three games are against division foes. Twice against the Panthers in a home and home before they play the Lightning at St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa. Caps will have to make up some ground on the Lightning who take over first in the division by a point.