Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Lightning 3-game win streak ends vs. Caps (w/video)

WASHINGTON — The Lightning was feeling good about itself, having won three straight heading into Friday's game in the nation's capital.

Maybe too good.

In a measuring-stick game against one of the Eastern Conference's top teams, the Lightning got stuffed like Thanksgiving turkeys in an admittedly embarrassing 4-2 loss to the Capitals at the Verizon Center.

"We (laid) an egg," center Brian Boyle said.

Tampa Bay is 2-17-2 in its past 21 games in Washington. But it was how the Lightning lost — coming out flat, getting outshot 31-14 in the first two periods — that left a sour taste in its mouth, forcing a much-needed response game tonight against the Islanders in Tampa.

"Good news is we play (tonight), so we don't have to think about the crappy effort we gave (Friday)," captain Steven Stamkos said. "Can't play 15, 20 minutes in a game and expect to win."

That the Lightning (11-10-3) lost center Tyler Johnson for undisclosed reasons 48 seconds into the game didn't help. Neither did Tampa Bay giving up three power-play goals, with star Alex Ovechkin scoring one of them.

"Happy Thanksgiving, Ovi," goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy quipped.

But whether it was the team Italian dinner on Thanksgiving or something else, coach Jon Cooper said his squad didn't "have our legs." And it didn't execute, looking little like the team that beat the red-hot Rangers, Ducks and Kings in the past eight days.

"(Friday) was hopefully a blip on the screen," veteran wing Ryan Callahan said. "It wasn't good enough. Everyone realizes that. That's the hardest part. We feel like we were finding our game the last three games, playing well, getting wins, finding different ways to win."

The Lightning made the game interesting with a push in the third period, during which it racked up 20 of its 34 shots and scored twice (goals by Boyle and Victor Hedman) to pull within two with 7:05 left. But it was too late.

The score would have been a lot worse had it not been for the stellar play of Vasilevskiy, who made 33 saves in his first start since Nov. 16.

Vasilevskiy had little chance on the goals, one on a Ovechkin blast, two on weakside redirections. The Capitals were given way too much space and too many passing lanes.

"Our special teams were not good," Cooper said. "That's ultimately what cost us the game."

The Lightning is still trying to find consistency 24 games into the season, the defending Eastern Conference champion having yet to find its identity.

"If we fought hard, played well and a couple breaks didn't go our way and we lost, that's disappointing," Boyle said. "But disappointing isn't the word for this. It's worse than that.

"We're what our record says we are. That's where we're at. That's our identity right now. If we want to change it, we've got to do it ourselves."

Contact Joe Smith at Follow @TBTimes_JSmith.

Capitals 1 2 1 4
Lightning 0 0 2 2


First Period1, Washington, Ovechkin 12 (Chimera, Kuznetsov), 7:09 (pp). PenaltiesHedman, TB (high-sticking), 5:17; Callahan, TB (roughing), 14:43; Latta, Was (roughing), 14:43; Callahan, TB (tripping), 17:30.

Second Period2, Washington, Chimera 6 (Kuznetsov, Niskanen), 18:03 (pp). 3, Washington, Johansson 4 (Carlson, Schmidt), 19:18. PenaltiesCoburn, TB (delay of game), 16:05.

Third Period4, Washington, Oshie 6 (Backstrom, Carlson), 5:16 (pp). 5, Tampa Bay, Boyle 5 (Callahan, J.Brown), 10:49. 6, Tampa Bay, Hedman 2 (Namestnikov), 12:45. PenaltiesSustr, TB (hooking), 4:00; Ovechkin, Was (slashing), 15:16; Johansson, Was (delay of game), 19:48. Shots on GoalTampa Bay 9-5-20—34. Washington 18-13-6—37. Power-play opportunitiesTampa Bay 0 of 2; Washington 3 of 4. GoaliesTampa Bay, Vasilevskiy 2-3-0 (37 shots-33 saves). Washington, Holtby 14-4-0 (34-32).

Capitals left wing Jason Chimera, right, get congratulations from the bench after his second-period goal for a 2-0 lead as Lightning defensemen Braydon Coburn (55) and Anton Stralman skate away.

Associated Press

Capitals left wing Jason Chimera, right, get congratulations from the bench after his second-period goal for a 2-0 lead as Lightning defensemen Braydon Coburn (55) and Anton Stralman skate away.


vs. Islanders, 7, Amalie Arena TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 970-AM

Lightning 3-game win streak ends vs. Caps (w/video) 11/27/15 [Last modified: Saturday, November 28, 2015 7:51am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Ronde Barber: Want intimidation? Look at past Bucs teams


    Ronde Barber says these days "it's hard to find throwbacks, where you go, 'That guy is a badass.' Where do you find that now? It's such a show-off sport." (Times 2012)
  2. Rays blow lead in ninth, lose in 10 to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Rays manager Kevin Cash liked the way Alex Cobb was competing Friday night. He liked the way the hard contact made by the Rangers batters went away after the second or third inning. So as the game headed toward the ninth, there was no doubt in Cash's mind that sending Cobb back to the mound was …

    Rays starter Alex Cobb can hardly believe what just happened as he leaves the game in the ninth after allowing a leadoff double then a tying two-run homer to the Rangers’ Shin-Soo Choo.
  3. Rays journal: Steven Souza Jr. gets extra day off to let hip heal

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RF Steven Souza Jr. ran in rightfield before batting practice under the watchful gaze of the Rays training staff and manager Kevin Cash. Afterward, Souza told Cash he could use one more day of rest before playing on the left hip he strained Wednesday in Oakland.

    Steven Souza Jr., hugging Mallex Smith after Smith’s solo home run in the eighth inning, feels relief after tests are negative on his injured hip.
  4. Rays vs. Rangers, 7:10 p.m. Saturday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Rangers

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: FS1; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)