When Thunder Roars: Washington Capitals vs Tampa Bay Lightning

Washington Capitals (26-6-5) vs Tampa Bay Lightning (17-12-4)


Predicted Goaltender


GAA / SV% / # SO

Washington Capitals

Braden Holtby


2.78 / .910 / 0

Tampa Bay Lightning

Andrei Vasilevskiy


2.88 / .906 / 0

Goalie Matchup

Last night, the Washington Capitals headed back home to D.C. after a dance with the Devils in New Jersey. This is the second time in a seven-day span that the Caps will face off against the Tampa Bay Lightning, and fans are optimistic that Washington will repeat last week’s success in a similar fashion. The last time the Capitals swept Tampa in a season series was in 2015, as they took two games at home, and one away. Washington has taken both games in their two most recent back-to-backs, which featured an overtime win (TBL)/win (DET), and win(SJS)/win(LAK).

Last night, the Washington Capitals defeated the New Jersey Devils, 6-3 on the road. Rookie goaltender Ilya Samsonov tallied his fourth consecutive win, and 9th of the season. The Devils received the first power play of the game, as Jonas Siegenthaler was called for hooking, and Kyle Palmieri, with his 14th of the season, gave New Jersey an early 1-0 lead. Brendan Leipsic was then called for delay of game with under five minutes remaining in the first, and a successful kill was all the Capitals needed to turn this game around. In their 900th game together, both Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom would tally goals, 70 seconds apart, to give Washington a 2-1 lead heading into the second period. Backstrom also recorded the primary assist on Ovechkins’ 22nd goal of the season. Just over four minutes into the middle frame, Blake Coleman would tie the game with a goal that arguably should have been called back for goaltender interference, but a goal that ultimately stood. Dmitry Orlov went off for slashing at the 11:41 mark, and the Capitals were able to kill off that penalty as well. Washington was given their first and only man-advantage as Sami Vantanen was called for slashing, though they would not convert. Tempers flared when Miles Wood and Garnet Hathaway got involved with just over 60 seconds left in the second period, and both received matching minors. Play resumed as 4-on-4, and at the 19:31 mark, Nicklas Backstrom scored his 2nd goal of the game, giving Washington its’ lead back. On the tail end of the matching minors, John Carlson scored his 13th goal of the season, just 42 seconds into the third. On a monumental night for Backstrom, not only did he play in his 900th game with Ovechkin, but he also tallied his 900th career point. Jonas Siegenthaler made it 5-2, Caps with the second goal of the night from a defenseman, six minutes later. After allowing 5 goals on 26 shots, the Devils elected to swap out MacKenzie Blackwood for Gilles Senn, who was forced with making his NHL ‘debut’. With five minutes left in the game, Richard Panik, who has registered high-danger shots in 13 of his last 17 games, again improved the Capitals lead by a tally of 6-2. Miles Wood gave hometown Devils fans something to cheer about as he scored his 4th of the season with just over 20 seconds left in the match, but Washington was the clear winner this time. Ilya Samsonov ended the night with 24 saves on 27 shots. Braden Holtby is slated to play tonight on the second night of this back-to-back.

The Tampa Bay Lightning lost to the Dallas Stars on Thursday night by a score of 4-3 in overtime.  The Stars received the first power play of the game just beyond the three-minute mark of the opening frame as Carter Verhaeghe went off for tripping. Alexander Radulov converted with his 10th goal of the season, giving the Stars a 1-0 lead at the 4:09 mark. Roope Hintz was called for tripping at the 8:28 mark, and while the Stars were able to kill off that penalty, they would not succeed in keeping the Bolts from scoring on their two consecutive power plays. Mikhail Sergachev and Alex Killorn gave Tampa a 2-1 lead within a span of two and a half minutes. Ondrej Palat improved that lead to a marker of 3-1 at the 3:22 mark of the second. But Radek Faksa would bring the Stars within one with just over two minutes remaining in the period. Not a single penalty was called in the second period, and the only goal-scoring of the third would come from Jason Dickinson of the Stars, as he tied the game 3-3 with less than five minutes left in the match. This one would ultimately go to overtime, and despite a number of incredible opportunities by both teams, it was Tyler Seguin who would win it for the Stars (doesn’t that sound familiar?). Tampa’s 2nd ranked power play converted on 2/3 opportunities with the man advantage, but their 17th ranked penalty kill was unable to keep the Stars from scoring on theirs. Coincidentally, the Bolts last game, against Ottawa, resulted in a 4-3 overtime win by Tampa. Andrei Vasilevskiy is expected to start against the Capitals, just as he did one week ago.

The Tampa Bay Lightning are still without defenseman Braydon Coburn (DL, lower body).

Coverage of the game begins at 6:00pm with Caps Faceoff Live, followed by Caps Pregame Live at 6:30pm, all on NBCSN/NBCSWA, with puck drop shortly after 7:00pm.


Mcubed. (2019). NHL : Series records : Washington Capitals against Tampa Bay Lightning. Retrieved from http://mcubed.net/nhl/wsh/tb.shtml.

TheScore. (2019). Dallas Stars at Tampa Bay Lightning. Retrieved from https://www.thescore.com/nhl/events/22265.

TheScore. (2019). Tampa Bay Lightning News & Stats. Retrieved from https://www.thescore.com/nhl/teams/14.

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