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NHL Game Summary - Tampa Bay at Washington



(Tuesday, December 10th)

Final Score: Washington 6, Tampa Bay 5 (SO)

Washington, DC (SportsNetwork.com) - Alex Ovechkin's fourth goal of the night tied the game with 32.4 seconds remaining in regulation, and the Washington Capitals ultimately prevailed in a shootout to post a thrilling 6-5 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning at Verizon Center.

Ovechkin's efforts, along with a one-goal, four-assist performance from Nicklas Backstrom, enabled the Capitals to overcome an early 3-0 deficit and notch their third consecutive victory and fifth in six outings.

"We've been in this situation before," said Ovechkin. "I think we were down 3-1 versus Detroit [a 4-3 shootout win on Nov. 15] after the second period, and I'm sure everybody knows we have lots of time left and we just have to take one at a time. The second goal by Nicky was huge, and we just felt we can come back and we can win the game."

Philipp Grubauer aided Washington's cause by stopping 32-of-34 shots after relieving an ineffective Braden Holtby, who let up three Tampa Bay goals on just eight chances before being pulled just after the 11-minute mark.

The Lightning were dealt a sixth straight road defeat despite Martin St. Louis and Tyler Johnson recording a goal and two assists each. Ondrej Palat had a goal and one assist in the loss, with Ben Bishop recording 26 saves for Tampa Bay.

Washington spotted Tampa Bay an early 3-0 lead and were down 4-2 late in the second period before a major boarding penalty to the Lightning's Richard Panik changed the game's momentum.

Ovechkin needed just seven seconds after the call to pull his team within one, racing up the left wing to knock home a pass from Marcus Johansson with 3:22 to go in the stanza.

While still on the extended power play, Ovechkin later fired a blast from the left circle that rocketed past Bishop to complete his 13th career hat trick and send the game all square heading into the third period.

St. Louis set up Palat for a successful wrister 8:36 into the third to put the Lighting back ahead, and it remained a 5-4 game into the final stages of regulation.

With Grubauer lifted for an extra attacker, the Caps worked the puck for Ovechkin to launch a long drive from the left point that Bishop got a piece of, but it caromed over his right shoulder and in to force extra time.

"He is a pure sniper," Capitals head coach Adam Oates said of Ovechkin, "I mean, the fourth goal with the ice conditions at that time, the length of the pass and the weight on the pass - that's an incredible shot. It really is. That's why he's a superstar."

Following a quiet overtime and goals by Washington's Eric Fehr and Tampa's Nikita Kucherov in the first three shootout rounds, Mikhail Grabovski put the Capitals ahead in the fourth go-around before Teddy Purcell kept the Lightning alive with a hard shot through Grubauer's pads.

Troy Brouwer then opened the fifth round for Washington by finding the top right corner of the net, and Grubauer stopped Palat with his blocker to give the Caps the two points.

"This is a game we should have won," said St. Louis. "We had that game. A bunch of times we had that game, we just couldn't close it."

Much earlier, Tampa Bay made the most of a pair of high-sticking penalties to Capitals defenseman Mike Green to build a 2-0 lead just past the midway mark of the opening period.

The first came a mere 2:26 in, with St. Louis sending a wrister that made its way in through heavy traffic in front of Holtby. Kucherov extended the margin with 9:11 left in the frame with the rookie's second career NHL goal, a wicked one-timer off a Purcell feed.

Tampa struck again just 18 seconds after Kucherov's goal, as J.T. Brown forced a turnover in the neutral zone to start a 2-on-1 with Nate Thompson in which the latter ended Holtby's night by converting the chance.

Ovechkin gave the Capitals a bit of momentum later in the period, launching a quick shot past a startled Bishop immediately after Backstrom won a draw in the Lightning end, and Washington inched closer with a power-play tally early in the second.

With the Caps skating on a 5-on-4, Grabovski tapped the puck back to Backstrom, who connected into an open right side from the slot to bring Washington within 3-2 with 6:24 elapsed in the middle session.

The one-goal differential was extended to two just over six minutes later, as Johnson put in a rebound after St. Louis led a rush up the ice.

Game Notes

The 4-goal game was the third of Ovechkin's career and first since Jan. 31, 2008 against Montreal ... The Lightning came in 1-for-24 on the power play over their last eight games before cashing in on 2-of-5 opportunities ... Washington now has a league-high 20 power-play goals at home after striking three times on Tuesday ... Tampa Bay lost for only the second time in 15 games (13-1-1) when scoring first ... Green had three high-sticking penalties in the game's first 12 minutes, with the last drawing a 10-minute misconduct ... Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman sat out a second straight game with a lower-body injury.

12/10 23:41:15 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 4
TOR 1
Final
DUKE 66
UCONN 56
 
Final
CHI 103
NYK 97
 
Final
HOU 90
NOP 99
 
2nd
SAC 44
MIL 46
 
1st
GSW 7
OKC 16
 
Final
RICE 72
STTHOMASTX 61
 
Final
UVA 70
CLST 54
Final
LIU 69
FIU 58
 
Final
STET 67
GSOUT 76
 
Final
QUIN 80
LEH 65
 
Final
SFLA 69
SHU 89
Final
RICH 65
SALA 54
Final
CAN 60
USB 59
 
Final
DEL 62
TEMPL 82
Final
WCU 56
WRST 69
 
Final
VERM 56
YALE 57
 
Final
SDKST 75
IDST 72
 
Final
RIDE 62
MRGST 48
 
Final
LATU 79
NICST 54
 
Final
CHAR 75
APP 65
Final
MISS 71
CCAR 68
 
Final
DUKE 66
UCONN 56
 
Final
BRAD 80
EUREK 38
 
Final
PEAY 76
OAKC 52
 
Final
JST 66
SMISS 46
 
Final
SD 55
MNTST 53
 
Final
UAB 70
LSU 79
 
2nd
EVAN 69
OHIO 69
 
Half
CSFU 30
CSDH 17
 
1st
ORST 48
DEP 28
 
Half
PAC 35
NEV 17
 
Half
USF 46
PORST 22
 
Half
IDAHO 49
WALLA 18
 
1st
UTST 13
CALST 16
 
Final
PIT 1
COL 0
Final
PHI 1
FLA 2
Final
CAR 4
TOR 1
Final
CLB 4
WAS 5
Final
MON 1
ANA 2
 
1st
SJS 0
EDM 0
 
1st
LOS 0
STL 0
 
4th
JAC 21
TEN 10