The Tampa Bay Lightning is suddenly the hottest team in the NHL after defeating the Washington Capitals 4-3 in over time on Tuesday night at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. In the biggest week of the season, the Lightning got off on the right foot when Steven Stamkos scored on a rebound to give the Lightning the extra point.
We’re playing a lot of big games right now,” Lightning forward Steven Stamkos said. “We gave Washington one point and we have got to catch some other teams as well. We are going to take every point that we can get.”
The Good: Teddy Purcell: Purcell has been one of the Lightning’s best players of late, and he continued his strong play against the Capitals. After Washington went up 1-0, Purcell scored to tie the score at one. The goal was Purcell’s 13th point in the last 18 games, with eight goals and five assists.
The Penalty Kill: One of the more underrated aspects of the Lightning success against the Capitals was the ability to kill off penalties, including a double minor to Steve Downie for high sticking in the second period. The Lightning killed off all three
Welcome Back: The Lightning welcomed back four players from injury Tuesday night, including defenseman Victor Hedman, who missed 13 games with a concussion. Also returning were Ryan Shannon, who missed 15 games with a lower body injury, JT Wyman, who missed nine games with an upper body injury, and Tom Pyatt, who missed three games with a lower body injury.
The Bad: The Inability To Win In Regulation: From a Lightning perspective, even in winning, the inability to avoid overtime was somewhat costly in that the Capitals were still able to pick up a point, which keeps the Lightning eight points back in the southeast division race. In a perfect world, the Lightning would have liked to taken care of things in the first 60 minutes of regulation.
He said it: “I dont believe much in tipping points,” Head coach Guy Boucher said. “I believe in every second and every moment to turn things around. Even when they scored that third goal, I kept saying on the bench be in the moment, be in the moment, its not about what just happened, its about what we are going to do next. Then we pushed overtime and we didn’t hold back. We didn’t skate to lose, we were playing to win.”
Up Next: The Lightning home stand continues on Thursday when Southeast division rival Winnipeg comes to town. Face off in that one is 7:30pm.