WASHINGTON — Dustin Tokarski was so dehydrated after Thursday night's game with the Capitals, he needed two bags of intravenous sodium chloride solution to fight off a full-body cramp.
He walked stiff-legged from the trainers' room — where he spent 45 minutes with emergency medical technicians standing by as a precaution — to the dressing room, where he said he was in so much pain in the third period he almost left the game.
Still, first on his mind after the 3-2 overtime loss at the Verizon Center was the save he said he should have made in the third period.
"I've got to make another save," Tokarski said of Marcus Johansson's shot that slipped through his legs with 3:58 left and tied the score 2-2. "If I make a big save … I can seal the deal for us."
Especially against an opponent Tampa Bay (31-29-7) needs to jump in the playoff race. The Lightning is 11th in the East, three points behind Washington for the final playoff spot.
Tokarski, 22, called up from AHL Norfolk on Wednesday because of Mathieu Garon's groin injury, did make 29 saves in his first NHL start.
But the Lightning, up 2-1 on second-period power-play goals by Ryan Malone and Teddy Purcell, stopped skating in the third.
It seemed as if Tampa Bay played a prevent defense. That let Washington have a 16-3 shot advantage in the third and overtime, which ended on Alex Ovechkin's goal with 50.3 seconds left after a bad defensive read by Ryan Shannon.
"We didn't push the pace," coach Guy Boucher said. "We wanted to push the pace, but maybe we were out of gas. But at 2-1, we have to close those ones. And the overtime goal, just dumb. … We sabotaged ourselves."
Even Johansson's goal came after Victor Hedman's giveaway.
"Just a dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb play," Boucher said. "We talk about it all the time. That puck has to get out by the boards. We had four chances to get it out."
And Tokarski let it in, though he was battling cramps he said began five minutes into the third.
"I almost left," he said. "Every whistle, every timeout I was taking salt, taking pills. I couldn't even stand in the dressing room. As soon as I sat down, my knees, quads, calves, elbows, I couldn't move my hands."
The sodium chloride will help as will constantly drinking water.
"He'll be fine," head athletic trainer Tommy Mulligan said.
Except when he thinks about Johansson's goal.
First Period—1, Washington, Aucoin 2 (Alzner, Halpern), 17:08. Penalties—Brewer, TB (tripping), 14:47.
Second Period—2, Tampa Bay, Malone 12 (Stamkos, Purcell), 7:25 (pp). 3, Tampa Bay, Purcell 20 (St. Louis, Clark), 18:42 (pp). Penalties—Wideman, Was (boarding), 6:58; Perreault, Was (high-sticking), 8:44; Beagle, Was (holding), 17:46.
Third Period—4, Wash, Johansson 13 (Wideman), 16:02. Penalties—Brewer, TB (interference), :36.
Overtime—5, Wash, Ovechkin 27 (Orlov, Chimera), 4:09. Shots on Goal—TB 15-8-3-0—26. Wash 13-3-12-4—32. Power-play opportunities—TB 2 of 3; Wash 0 of 2. Goalies—TB, Tokarski 0-0-1 (32 shots-29 saves). Wash, Vokoun 24-16-2 (26-24). A—18,506 (18,398).