F Street Faithful
by Matthew Tate on 12/10/13 at 10:58 PM ET
The Washington Capitals overcame three early goals to down the Tampa Bay by a score of 6-5 in the shootout. The Capitals were down 3-0 early before coming back to tie it late in the seocond. The Lightning would regain the lead in the third only to see Alexander Ovechkin score his fourth of the night to tie it with 33 seconds remaining. This is a win to remember for sure. On to the reCap:
Washington Goals: Alexander Ovechkin 23 (Backstrom); Backstom PP 7 (Grabovski, Brouwer); Alexander Ovechkin PP 24 (Johansson, Backstrom); Alexander Ovechkin PP 25 (Green, Backstrom); Alexander Ovechkin 25 (Carlson, Backstrom)
Braden Holtby: ND 8 Saves; 3 Goals Against; Philipp Grubauer: WIN 32 Saves; 2 Goals Allowed
Tampa Bay Goals: Martin St. Louis PP 13 (Salo, Johnson); Nikita Kucherov PP 2 (Purcell, Carle); Nate Thompson 3 (Brown, Crombeen); Tyler Johnson 7 (Palat, St. Louis); Ondrej Palat 5 (Johnson, St. Louis)
Ben Bishop: SO LOSS 26 Saves; 5 Goals Allowed
|Tampa Bay Lightning||Washington Capitals|
|Filpulla - MISS||Fehr - GOAL|
|Kucherov - GOAL||Ovechkin - SAVE|
|St. Louis - POKE CHECK||BAckstrom - POST|
|Purcell - GOAL||Grabovski - GOAL|
|Palat - SAVE||Brouwer - GOAL|
To say that it was a rough first period for the Caps would be a bit of an understatement. They gave up three goals, two of them on the power play, leading Oates to pull Holtby. They were outshot (12-8), outhit (6-5), and turned the puck over repeatedly.
And if it was rough on the team as a whole, it was downright terrible for Mike Green. Green was called for all three penalties. On only his second shift of the game, he carelessly hi-sticked Valterri Filppula, drawing blood. The Lightning would add one power play goal on the double minor. He would add to his penalty total a few shifts later, hooking/tripping Ondrej Palat as he entered the zone. The Lightning would add another on that power play. His period would end on his very next shift as he would hi-stick Wilson and add a 10-minute misconduct for arguing after. It's worth noting that all three penalties were clear-cut (which is not true for Tampa's first two penalties).
The entire point of putting Troy Brouwer in the slot on the power play is to give Backstom/Grabovski/Johansson another option if the defense takes Ovechkin away. Early on in the season, this was working. He scored four times on the extra-man in the first 17 games. He has not had a power play tally since , a span of 14 games.
Very scary moment in the second period when Panik hit Alzner hard into the boards in the neutral zone. Both players retreated to their respective locker rooms; Alzner to get checked out, Panik after receiving a five-minute major for boarding. Karl Alzner would return to the bench moments later, seemingly fine. The Lightning, however, would see there two-goal lead disappear. People may complain that nobody stood up to fight Panik, but it's kind of nice to beat them on the scoreboard too.
With Alexander Ovechkin's power play tally in the second period, he tied Peter Bondra for the franchise record in career power play goals. Before the power play was over, he would add another, for both a hat trick and the franchise record. For history, Peter Bondra scored his final Washington power play goal on February 15, 2004 against Chicago (a game winner). That was the 960th game Bondra played for the Caps. Tonight was Alexander Ovechkin's 630th game. It was also Ovechkin's 13th career hat trick. The organization, knowing the inevitability of it happening, had a montage put together that aired on the big screen tonight. You can check it out here. Kind of cool to see old Caps like Fedorov and Bondra. He would end the night with four goals. He's all right I guess.
Lost in the amazing performance from Ovechkin will be the play of Backstrom. Won a key faceoff to get the Caps on the board, scored the second, and picked up secondary assists on both of Ovechkin's power play strikes as well as Ovechkin's game tying goal.
Marty Erat, on the other hand, was terrible tonight. He repeatedly turned the puck over in the neutral zone and, worse, the defensive zone. His inability to get the puck deep led to Tampa Bay's fourth goal. At least twice in the third period alone he gave the puck directly to a Lightning player in the slot. Just hot and cold from this guy. It's almost as if he doesn't want to play here.
The Lightning top line scorched the Caps tonight, with each of the three forwards netting goals. This should really not be a surprise given the immense success Martin St. Louis has had against the Capitals in his career. It's nice not having to see him six times a year. St. Louis was bested in the shootout by a Grubauer poke check.
I understand fans booing their team when they play poorly, but I don't understand booing a specific player. Mike Green spent most of his game (when not in the box) being serenaded by boos from the hometown fans. I know he might not be playing up to his old level, but it's ridiculous to boo him.
The Capitals will look to continue the the winning ways on Friday when they visit the Florida Panthers.
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Welcome to the home of the F Street Faithful, run by Matthew Tate. This is a go-to blog for all things related to the Washington Capitals. The F Street Faithful is 5% news and 95% breaking down the news.
In the past I have written for several other sports blogs as well as the college newspaper while at York College of Pennsylvania. I am a graduate of York College of Pennsylvania but am based out of Southern Maryland.
You can follow me on twitter @FStreetTate but I must warn that I do tweet about more than hockey. You can also e-mail me at any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.