Monday, June 25, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Lightning can't overcome Ovechkin's four goals

WASHINGTON — Here's a tip for the Lightning the next time it faces the Capitals. It might want to keep an eye on Alex Ovechkin; you know, the league's top goal scorer.

Tampa Bay didn't do nearly a good enough job Tuesday night, and the Capitals star cashed in with four goals during Washington's 6-5 shootout victory at the Verizon Center.

His last, a booming slap shot from the left faceoff circle with 32.4 seconds left in regulation, tied the score 5-5.

"Everybody in the building knows where the puck's going," Lightning captain Marty St. Louis said. "That's his shot. Obviously, we didn't do a good job taking it away from him and when we were there we didn't block him, so he scores four pretty much from the same spot."

Asked if that was the inexperience of a young team with eight rookies showing, coach Jon Cooper said, "There's young guys, old guys, everybody is on the ice when he was scoring his goals, so I wouldn't say it's a young thing. I'd say it was a dumb thing."

The loss — finalized with a 3-2 five-round shootout in which Ovechkin was actually stopped by goaltender Ben Bishop — couldn't have been more frustrating for the Lightning (17-10-3).

It led 3-0 after 11:07 of the first period, scored two power-play goals after entering the game on a 4-for-51 skid and had a 42-31 shot advantage, its second-most shots of the season.

But Tampa Bay — which got goals from St. Louis, Nikita Kucherov, Nate Thompson, Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat — allowed three power-play goals and watched Ovechkin score two in 130 seconds in the second period to turn a 4-2 Lightning lead into a 4-4 tie.

The catalyst was a five-minute major penalty to Richard Panik for boarding Karl Alzner with 3:29 left in the period.

"I'm trying to finish my check. Just a bad penalty," Panik said. "I put the team in a bad spot, so I really feel bad about it."

It took Ovechkin seven seconds to make it 4-3 as he re-directed a pass after beating B.J. Crombeen to the net. He made it 4-4 with 1:12 left on a one-timer while guarded by Johnson who had broken his stick.

"He's a pure sniper," Capitals coach Adam Oates said. "That fourth goal, with the ice conditions at that time, that's an incredible shot. That's why he's a superstar."

Palat's goal 8:36 into the third gave the Lightning a 5-4 lead. But Ovechkin tied the score with his league-best 26th, a slap shot which he had plenty of time to tee up.

"He didn't even have to work for his goals," Cooper said. "We know where he is. We know what he can do. We just didn't have a stick on him. We weren't in the lane, and that's the troubling part."

Capitals 1 3 1 0 6
Lightning 3 1 1 0 5
Capitals win shootout 3-2

 

First Period1, Tampa Bay, St. Louis 13 (Salo, Johnson), 2:26 (pp). 2, Tampa Bay, Kucherov 2 (Purcell, Carle), 10:49 (pp). 3, Tampa Bay, Thompson 3 (Brown, Crombeen), 11:07. 4, Washington, Ovechkin 23 (Backstrom), 14:15. PenaltiesGreen, Was, double minor (high-sticking), 2:14; Green, Was (tripping), 9:07; Green, Was, served by Wilson, minor-misconduct (high-sticking), 11:42; Killorn, TB (slashing), 18:25.

Second Period5, Washington, Backstrom 7 (Grabovski, Brouwer), 6:24 (pp). 6, Tampa Bay, Johnson 7 (Palat, St. Louis), 12:41. 7, Washington, Ovechkin 24 (Johansson, Backstrom), 16:38 (pp). 8, Washington, Ovechkin 25 (Green, Backstrom), 18:48 (pp). PenaltiesBrewer, TB (holding), 4:35; Backstrom, Was (high-sticking), 9:32; Panik, TB, major (boarding), 16:31.

Third Period9, Tampa Bay, Palat 5 (Johnson, St. Louis), 8:36. 10, Washington, Ovechkin 26 (Carlson, Backstrom), 19:27. PenaltiesNone.

OvertimeNone. PenaltiesNone.

ShootoutTampa Bay 2 (Filppula NG, Kucherov G, St. Louis NG, Purcell G, Palat NG), Washington 3 (Fehr G, Ovechkin NG, Backstrom NG, Grabovski G, Brouwer G). Shots on GoalTampa Bay 12-9-15-6—42. Washington 7-13-7-4—31. Power-play opportunitiesTampa Bay 2 of 5; Washington 3 of 5. GoaliesTampa Bay, Bishop 15-5-2 (31 shots-26 saves). Washington, Holtby (8-5), Grubauer 2-0-0 (11:07 first, 34-32). A18,506 (18,506). T2:47. Referees—Greg Kimmerly, Brad Meier. LinesmenMatt MacPherson, Andy McElman.

 
Comments
A local hockey draftee? Mitchell grad Nathan Smith is just that

A local hockey draftee? Mitchell grad Nathan Smith is just that

TAMPA — Every year during draft season, players from the Tampa Bay area are selected in the NFL, MLB and even NBA drafts.But NHL?Sure enough, in the third round of Saturday's NHL draft, the Jets selected Nathan Smith, a forward who was born in ...
Published: 06/24/18
Former Mitchell High player Nathan Smith taken in NHL draft by Jets

Former Mitchell High player Nathan Smith taken in NHL draft by Jets

It's rare to see an NHL draft pick with Tampa Bay ties, but the Jets used a third-round pick Saturday on center Nathan Smith, 19, who played for Mitchell High School in Trinity and most recently for the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders of the USHL.Smith was ...
Published: 06/23/18
Report: Lightning to talk to John Tavares during free-agent courting period

Report: Lightning to talk to John Tavares during free-agent courting period

Despite limited salary-cap room, the Lightning is among at least five teams expected to talk with Islanders All-Star center John Tavares, who can be a free agent July 1, when the courting period begins Sunday, ESPN reported.Tavares also is expected t...
Published: 06/23/18
Another small, quick forward headlines Lightning’s draft picks

Another small, quick forward headlines Lightning’s draft picks

Even without a first-round pick, the Lightning wrapped up its draft with seven picks Saturday, starting with Gabriel Fortier, an undersized 18-year-old forward from Quebec in the second round."They were guys that we really wanted," Lightning director...
Published: 06/23/18
Lightning takes Quebec LW Gabriel Fortier with second-round pick

Lightning takes Quebec LW Gabriel Fortier with second-round pick

The Lightning is on the board in the 2018 NHL draft, using their first pick — 59th overall in the second round — on Gabriel Fortier, an undersize left wing from Quebec."I spoke with them a couple of times, so I knew there was an interest,...
Published: 06/23/18
Live blog: 2018 NHL entry draft

Live blog: 2018 NHL entry draft

The Lightning isn't scheduled to pick until the second round, but there's no telling how active they might be with trades, so you'll want to follow our live coverage throughout the NHL draft Friday (Round 1) and Saturday (Rounds 2-7) in Dallas.(funct...
Published: 06/23/18
Lightning re-signs backup goalie Louis Domingue to 2-year deal

Lightning re-signs backup goalie Louis Domingue to 2-year deal

The Lightning has re-signed one of its restricted free agents in backup goalie Louis Domingue, who will be back with Tampa Bay on a two-year deal worth $2.3 million.Domingue, 26, was acquired from Arizona in November after he had posted a 4.33 goals-...
Published: 06/22/18
Lightning names ex-player Jeff Halpern as new assistant coach

Lightning names ex-player Jeff Halpern as new assistant coach

The Lightning has filled one of the openings on Jon Cooper's coaching staff, announcing Friday  that former Tampa Bay forward Jeff Halpern has been hired as an assistant coach.Halpern, 42, has spent the past two seasons as an assistant with the ...
Published: 06/22/18
Steve Yzerman: Lightning won’t re-sign forward Chris Kunitz

Steve Yzerman: Lightning won’t re-sign forward Chris Kunitz

As expected, Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said he does not intend to re-sign veteran forward Chris Kunitz, who will seek his fifth Stanley Cup with a different team next season.Kunitz, 38, brought much-needed playoff experience in his lone...
Published: 06/22/18
2018-19 schedule unveiled: Lightning opens with five straight at home

2018-19 schedule unveiled: Lightning opens with five straight at home

NHL schedules all balance out at the end, but the Lightning will open 2018-19 with five straight home games and end the season with its last four on the road.The Lightning released its schedule Thursday evening for the upcoming season, with all sorts...
Published: 06/21/18
Updated: 06/22/18