Lightning Comeback Win A Character Builder
The Capitals entered the game winners of their last two against the Bolts and seven of their last eight.
Lightning Coach Jon Cooper questioned his teams effort in Saturday nights 5-4 loss to the Florida Panthers. “I really believe that we were taken aback by the way we played the other night against Florida.”
He believes the team responded tonight. “I liked the way we were playing, I like the way we were attacking the game, and the boys needed to get points out of this.” After the loss Saturday Cooper also stated that the more deserving team won. He repeated that statement after tonight’s game. “The team that deserved to win won the other night, and I thought the team that deserved to win tonight won tonight.”
How It Happened:
Niklas Backstrom opened the scoring at the 16:42 mark of the first period. Minutes later T.J. Oshie added a power play goal to push the lead to 2-0 at the first intermission.
After the game Lightning Coach Jon Cooper admitted that his team was a little fragile trailing 2-0 entering the second period.
“You don’t want to get in the habit of falling behind by two all the time,” Cooper said. “But it wasn’t one of the games that I felt like we should have been down by two and that was a big difference for us.”
Alex Killorn lifted a weight off the team’s shoulders scoring the Bolts first goal at the 5:58 mark of the the second period to cut the lead to 2-1.
The momentum swung back to the Capitals when they were awarded a power play on a face-off violation called against the Lightning. T.J. Oshie took advantage scoring his second goal of the game restoring Washington’s two goal lead at 3-1.
The Bolts responded before intermission as Chris Kunitz got in position in front of the net and deflected a Anton Stralman shot cutting the deficit to 3-2.
“A big part of us winning this game tonight was the Paquette-Callahan-Kunitz line.” Cooper said. “They’ve kind of started driving possessions for us and then they got the big second goal that gave us the big lift.”
Nikita Kucherov scored to tie the game up at 3-3 at the 10:46 mark. It was a complete goal beginning in the Bolts defensive end. Anton Stralman cleared the puck off the boards, Alex Killorn received the puck and immediately found Kucherov gaining steam down the middle of the ice, and Kucherov beat his defender and scored on a one handed shot.
“There’s not too many guys who can go in at that speed and roof a backhand,” Cooper said. “But if you watch him on a daily basis he just practices all that stuff and he gets rewarded for plays like that.”
The Capitals were called for too many men on the ice in overtime. On the ensuing power play Nikita Kucherov sent a laser shot toward the goal that deflected off Brayden Point to give the Bolts the victory.
- Alex Killorn scored his first goal of the season in the second period. He scored a career high 19 goals last season.
- Brayden Point picked up an assist on Killorn’s goal. He now has six points on the year including four assists.
- Chris Kunitz scored his first goal as a member of the Bolts in the second period.
- Nikita Kucherov scored the Bolts third goal tying the game at 3-3 in the third period. Kucherov has now scored a goal in each of the Lightning’s first three games.
- Kucherov’s game winning goal in OT was his 112th career goal. He moves ahead of Brian Bradley for seventh place among the Bolts’ all-time goal scorers.
- The Lightning attempted a season high 40 shots led by Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman who each had seven.
- Brayden Point scored the game winning goal and added an assist. It’s his third straight multi-point game to open the season. It’s his fourth straight such game dating back to last season.
- Niklas Backstrom’s first period goal was his 189th with the Capitals. He passes Bob Carpenter for eighth all-time in franchise history in goals (188).
- Different year, same villains. Last season, Nicklas Backstrom led the Capitals with seven points (1g, 6a) against the Lightning John Carlson and T.J. Oshie’s each had three goals led the team. Tonight, Backstrom scored the Caps’ first goal and chipped in a pair of assists. T.J. Oshie added a pair of goals and an assist.