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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
3rd
CAR 2
WAS 0
 
4th
BOS 75
CHA 78
 
4th
IND 85
CLE 76
 
4th
PHI 72
WAS 70
 
4th
BOS 75
CHA 78
 
3rd
TOR 48
GSW 86
 
3rd
DET 62
NYK 61
 
3rd
ATL 72
ORL 65
 
Half
HOU 53
BRK 57
 
Half
MEM 41
LAC 41
 
Half
NOP 54
MIA 54
 
Half
CHI 51
MIN 44
 
1st
DEN 1
UTA 0
 
10:00pm Tonight
SAC
SAN
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
MIL
10:30pm Tonight
POR
OKC
Final
QUIN 73
SIENA 63
 
Final
CORN 57
HARV 49
 
Final
CAN 72
FAIR 65
 
2nd
IONA 77
MAN 71
 
Final
BRO 75
PENN 69
 
Final
YALE 81
PRIN 60
 
2nd
MAR 69
PETE 67
 
Half
CLMB 38
DART 40
 
2nd
AKR 34
OHIO 30
 
10:00pm Tonight
CLST
VALPO
 
3rd
NJD 2
BOS 2
 
3rd
NYI 1
CAL 0
 
3rd
CAR 2
WAS 0
 
2nd Intermission
TAM 2
CHI 0
 
1st Intermission
DAL 0
COL 0
 
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
LOS