August 10, 2022

Washington Capitals Game 26 Recap: Ovechkin scores two as Caps hold Lightning at bay

Three critical road games against two division opponents and team among the league’s elite, and three games where an early goal gave the Washington Capitals a win. Alex Ovechkin scored just 40 seconds into the game, and the team got consistent scoring throughout as they beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-2 on Tuesday.

The Caps held the league’s most prolific offense to just two goals, and never trailed their former Southeast Division rivals.

Brian Boyle tied it at 13:49 of the first period, but Matt Niskanen scored on the power play just 34 seconds later to give Washington the lead back. Steven Stamkos scored the 250th goal of his young-but-illustrious NHL career 47 seconds into the middle frame, but Brooks Laich continued his hot streak after returning from IR with his third goal of the year at 4:36 to give the Capitals a lead that they wouldn’t relinquish.

Troy Brouwer finally found the net just past halfway through the third period for a crucial insurance goal.  Valtteri Filppula scored with about three seconds left to pull the Lightning within one, but Ovechkin scored his 14th goal of the season (via Nicklas Backstrom’s 22nd assist) just before the final horn to provide for the final scoreline.

News and Notes

  • Washington is now 12-1-1 on the year when scoring first. The players and head coach Barry Trotz have talked at length in the past about the psychological advantage that scoring first provides, and that was on display again tonight.
  • Braden Holtby had a very strong road trip, finishing with a .950 save percentage and a 1.67 goals-against average. With more consistency and numbers closer to those, he could be the goalie that Caps fans have been clamoring for since the days of Olie Kolzig.
  • Special-teams wise, the Capitals were 2-for-6 on the power play and 5-for-5 on the penalty kill against Carolina, New Jersey and Tampa Bay. That’s not bad.
  • They killed off three consecutive penalties in the second period on Tuesday, maybe a sign that the players listened to Dave?
About Eric Hobeck

Eric Hobeck is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page covering the Redskins and Capitals. Eric contributes to high school sports coverage at InsideNova.com. He served as sports editor of The Rotunda at Longwood University for two years, where he was also the men’s basketball beat writer. He hosted a campus radio show for three years and called basketball and baseball games for the station’s award-winning sports team. You can follow Eric on Twitter @eric_hobeck.

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