Capitals beat Lightning in OT for seventh straight win

NHL.com | Sunday, 04.14.2013 / 1:49 AM

The Washington Capitals are so hot that they can blow a four-goal lead and still win.

Mike Green's power-play goal 2:59 into overtime gave the Capitals their seventh consecutive victory, a 6-5 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday -- but not before Washington failed to hold a 5-1 lead.

Vincent Lecavalier was called for slashing Marcus Johansson 1:53 into overtime, and the Capitals' League-leading power play worked the puck until Green was able to tee up a shot from the top of the right circle and beat Mathieu Garon for the win.

Capitals coach Adam Oates was happy with the final result, though not with seeing his team take its foot off the gas with a four-goal lead.

"Guess there is no really easy explanation," he said. "First of all, they are a good team. And everything went our way in the first period. You lose a little bit of momentum because it was a little too easy, you get a little flat and all of a sudden, here they come. You start sinking yourself and before you know it, it's happening pretty fast."

The overtime goal prevented the Capitals from becoming the first team this season to lose after leading a game by four goals.

"Tomorrow we are going to wake up and we have our two points and that's all that matters," Green said. "This game is put away, but we have to learn from this. We can't let situations like that happen. They used to call us the 'Cardiac Kids' for a reason, and we showed that tonight."

More important for the Capitals was that the victory extended their Southeast Division lead over the second-place Winnipeg Jets to four points. The Capitals have 48 points to the Jets' 44; each team has six games to play.

"We had a couple of games in hand here and we took advantage of them," Washington forward Mathieu Perreault said. "Now we have got our destiny in our hand. We have to just keep winning and not look back."

Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper was proud of his team's comeback, even though the Lightning moved another step closer to missing the playoffs.

"You take it as a loss," he said. "Ultimately, we ended up losing the game, but you can sit here and say a lot of good came out of that loss. We scratched and clawed back to get a point, ultimately we didn't finish them off. It's tough when you take the penalty and half the overtime is going to be a 4-on-3."

The Capitals started out like a team on fire, outshooting the Lightning 20-6 in the opening period and getting goals by Troy Brouwer, Jack Hillen and Alex Ovechkin in a span of less than six minutes late in the period to take a 3-0 lead to the dressing room. Ovechkin outraced the Lightning for a loose puck and hit a wide-open net at 19:22 after Ben Bishop overcommitted himself for his League-leading 27th goal.

Brouwer's goal came on the last of Washington's four first-period power plays, and Lightning forward Martin St. Louis said playing down a man for so long was the main reason for the slow start.

"It's not like we weren't ready to play," he said. "We took eight minutes of penalties. ... We just couldn't catch our breath, and it's 3-0."

Jason Chimera was left all alone and beat Garon, who replaced Bishop, at 2:41 of the second period for a 4-0 lead. Richard Panik got Tampa Bay on the board at 3:55, but Eric Fehr restored Washington's four-goal lead at 5:26.

But the rest of the period belonged to the Lightning, which put 21 shots on Braden Holtby and made it 5-2 at 18:47 on a goal by St. Louis.

Tampa Bay continued to control play in the third period, and goals by Panik and St. Louis made it 5-4 with 11:43 left in regulation. The Lightning continued to press and tied the game with 2:35 left in regulation when Teddy Purcell beat Holtby for his 11th of the season. The full house at Verizon Center booed the home team when the horn sounded to end regulation.

"I hope for next time when we get lead like that we're not going to stop playing and play our way," Ovechkin said.

Material from team media was used in this report.

Scoring Summary
1st Period
13:45WSH PPG - Troy Brouwer (16) ASST: Mike Ribeiro (28), Alex Ovechkin (19) 1 - 0 WSH
18:45WSH Jack Hillen (2) ASST: Jay Beagle (5), Steve Oleksy (7) 2 - 0 WSH
19:22WSH Alex Ovechkin (27) ASST: Nicklas Backstrom (38) 3 - 0 WSH
2nd Period
02:41WSH Jason Chimera (2) ASST: Mathieu Perreault (9), Steve Oleksy (8) 4 - 0 WSH
03:55TBL Richard Panik (3) ASST: Tom Pyatt (6), Teddy Purcell (23) 4 - 1 WSH
05:26WSH Eric Fehr (8) ASST: Mathieu Perreault (10) 5 - 1 WSH
18:47TBL Martin St. Louis (10) ASST: Steven Stamkos (26), Benoit Pouliot (11) 5 - 2 WSH
3rd Period
04:23TBL Richard Panik (4) ASST: Radko Gudas (2), Keith Aulie (4) 5 - 3 WSH
08:17TBL Martin St. Louis (11) ASST: Victor Hedman (13), Tom Pyatt (7) 5 - 4 WSH
17:25TBL Teddy Purcell (11) ASST: Tom Pyatt (8), Richard Panik (4) 5 - 5 Tie
OT Period
02:59WSH PPG - Mike Green (10) ASST: Mike Ribeiro (29), Eric Fehr (7) 6 - 5 WSH
Three Stars of the Game
Mike Green
Mike Green
G: 1Shots: 7
A: 0Hits: 1
PTS: 1PIM: 0
+/-: -3TOI: 25:53
Mathieu Perreault
Mathieu Perreault
G: 0Shots: 1
A: 2Hits: 2
PTS: 2PIM: 0
+/-: 2TOI: 14:34
Richard Panik
Richard Panik
G: 2Shots: 4
A: 1Hits: 4
PTS: 3PIM: 0
+/-: 4TOI: 15:32
Penalty Summary
1st Period
02:40TBL Nate Thompson  Tripping against  Aaron Volpatti
05:54TBL Benoit Pouliot  Hi-sticking against  Steve Oleksy
05:54TBL Benoit Pouliot  Hi-sticking against  Steve Oleksy
12:54TBL Teddy Purcell  Too many men/ice - bench
20:00TBL B.J. Crombeen  Misconduct (10 min) against  Troy Brouwer
2nd Period
07:07WSH Jay Beagle  Tripping against  Victor Hedman
09:46WSH Nicklas Backstrom  Slashing against  Teddy Purcell
3rd Period
OT Period
01:53TBL Vincent Lecavalier  Slashing against  Marcus Johansson
shots by period
Team Stats
Power Plays0/22/5
Faceoff Wins2939
Blocked Shots1119
Penalty Minutes204
2E. BrewerD0012022:08
3K. AulieD0122012:44
4V. LecavalierC00-12218:38
6S. SaloD0002022:43
11T. PyattC0332018:31
12R. MaloneL0001012:19
16T. PurcellL1124018:25
17A. KillornC00-14020:14
19B. CrombeenR00-10109:09
25M. CarleD0003021:15
26M. St. LouisR2006020:39
42D. TyrellC00-20010:52
44N. ThompsonC000123:47
67B. PouliotL0100410:51
71R. PanikL2144015:32
75R. GudasD0101017:14
77V. HedmanD01-12027:09
91S. StamkosC01-14022:14
30B. Bishop1720.85020:00
32M. Garon1518.83342:34
4J. ErskineD0001020:38
8A. OvechkinL11-19021:37
9M. RibeiroC02-21017:02
10M. EratR00-21015:11
16E. FehrC1122017:30
19N. BackstromC01-10219:18
20T. BrouwerR10-24020:59
24A. VolpattiL000108:21
25J. ChimeraL1024013:45
26M. HendricksL0000010:48
27K. AlznerD00-31018:34
38J. HillenD1021015:59
52M. GreenD10-37025:53
61S. OleksyD0210014:10
74J. CarlsonD0011022:56
83J. BeagleR0102210:57
85M. PerreaultC0221014:34
90M. JohanssonL00-12019:44
70B. Holtby3540.87562:59