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)

Tampa Bay Lightning loses to Washington Capitals 5-3

WASHINGTON — Mike Mc- Kenna said he does not believe the Capitals players celebrating a goal in his crease Friday did it on purpose. But it did not matter.

McKenna waded into the pack and pushed back.

"I'm emotional when I play," McKenna said. "I don't think they did it intentionally, but I don't think any goaltender appreciates celebrating in their crease."

It was the only moment in Tampa Bay's hard-fought 5-3 loss at the Verizon Center that reminded of the circumstances surrounding the game: the first meeting since Capitals star Alex Ovechkin's perceived excessive 50th-goal celebration last week at the St. Pete Times Forum near the Lightning crease.

That story line was a dud. Ovechkin and Tampa Bay generally co-existed, Ovechkin's two goals notwithstanding, one into an empty net that gave him a league-high 53 and his four points that gave him 100.

So, it fell to McKenna, who made 34 saves, to personify Tampa Bay's resilience against an opponent that owns the Lightning. Tampa Bay (24-34-17) lost its 10th straight to Washington and fifth this season. Brian Pothier's goal 4:30 into the third period that deflected off Vinny Prospal broke a 3-3 tie.

Give Tampa Bay credit, though. Its 36 shots equaled its previous two games combined. Goals by Steven Stamkos, his 19th in the second, and Prospal, his 19th in the third, erased a 3-1 first-period deficit. Marty St. Louis had three points, including a first-period goal, his 29th, that tied Vinny Lecavalier for the team lead.

But Tampa Bay was its own worst enemy; it gave Washington nine power plays, of which three were converted. Including Thursday's game with the Canadiens, the Lightning faced 17 power plays while getting five. "Any time you're killing nine penalties, it's like you're killing one-third of a game. That's a hard way to play," coach Rick Tocchet said.

Why the disparity? Part of it is slow starts. Tampa Bay took five penalties in a first period in which Washington held a 16-9 shot advantage.

"We have to get in their zone and push their defense and get them to take some penalties," defenseman Richard Petiot said.

But Tocchet said it is inattention to detail; four of the Lightning's 10 penalties were stick fouls. He said he had no problem with any of the calls except when defensemen Matt Smaby and Josef Melichar were whistled for tripping and slashing, respectively, 5:22 into the game. "The five-on-three, I'm still trying to understand that one," he said.

Ovechkin converted with a big slap shot from the slot to make it 1-0. Nicklas Backstrom's two power-play goals made the score 3-1. His second, in which he smacked in a rebound from in front of the net, prompted the scrum with McKenna.

Backstrom confirmed it was unintentional. Even so, Mc- Kenna said. "I just wanted to let them know that's not going to happen."

"They scored and celebrated, no big deal," Tocchet said. "But I'm glad Mike did that."

Capitals 3 0 2 5
Lightning 1 1 1 3
Capitals 3 0 2 5
Lightning 1 1 1 3

First Period1, Washington, Ovechkin 52 (Backstrom, Laich), 6:49 (pp). 2, Washington, Backstrom 20 (Ovechkin, Green), 11:17 (pp). 3, Tampa Bay, St. Louis 29 (Pettinger, Lashoff), 15:48. 4, Washington, Backstrom 21 (Green, Ovechkin), 19:38 (pp). PenaltiesMorrisonn, Was (tripping), 2:58; Melichar, TB (slashing), 5:22; Smaby, TB (tripping), 5:22; Koci, TB (roughing), 10:31; Jurcina, Was (holding), 12:42; Lashoff, TB (holding), 13:29; Lashoff, TB (holding), 17:58.

Second Period5, Tampa Bay, Stamkos 19 (Malone, St. Louis), 19:06. PenaltiesArtyukhin, TB (interference), 3:27; Lecavalier, TB (holding), 12:19; Kozlov, Was (tripping), 13:54.

Third Period6, Tampa Bay, Prospal 19 (St. Louis), 2:59. 7, Washington, Pothier 1 (Laich, Aucoin), 4:30. 8, Washington, Ovechkin 53 (Laich), 19:53 (en). PenaltiesKozlov, Was (hooking), :36; Artyukhin, TB (cross-checking), 2:30; Erskine, Was (cross-checking), 2:30; St. Louis, TB (interference), 8:17; Prospal, TB (high-sticking), 13:44. Shots on GoalTampa Bay 9-12-15—36. Washington 16-13-10—39. Power-play opportunitiesTampa Bay 0 of 4; Washington 3 of 9. GoaliesTampa Bay, McKenna 4-5-1 (38 shots-34 saves). Washington, Theodore 29-16-5 (36-33). A18,277 (18,277).

Tampa Bay Lightning loses to Washington Capitals 5-3 03/27/09 [Last modified: Friday, March 27, 2009 11:30pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. For starters: Rays at Twins, looking for another with Odorizzi starting


    UPDATE, 12:45: Cash said Robertson was taking better swings Friday and so he wanted to move him up today, liking the idea of having three straight right-handers vs. a LHP they don't know much about. ... Souza was still smiling this morning about his failed dive attempt last night, and the reaction it got. .. The …

  2. Why the Lightning would consider trading Jonathan Drouin

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — This summer, the Lightning could trade one of its most dynamic young players ever.

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) celebrates with his team on the bench after beating Chicago Blackhawks goalie Scott Darling (33) to score his second goal of the period and to tie the score at 4 to 4 during second period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Monday evening (03/27/17).
  3. Why the Lightning should keep Jonathan Drouin

    Lightning Strikes

    Keep him.

    Jonathan Drouin is live bait. The Lightning is ready to run the hook through him and cast him out there again. Drouin has enough talent for the Lightning to meet some defensive needs in a deal.

    Keep him.

    Lightning wing Jonathan Drouin celebrates after beating Los Angeles Kings goalie Peter Budaj during the first period of Tuesday's win in Tampa. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]
  4. This Tampa Bay Lightning wing rides the newest wave of fan interaction

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — There are photos of Lightning fan Shaun Egger as a toddler at center ice at the then-Thunderome, aka Tropicana Field. He's played in the Lightning's high school hockey league for Palm Harbor University. But his closest personal encounter with players had been waving through a crowd after a training camp …

    Tampa Bay Lightning player J.T. Brown wears his anti UV glasses as he talks over the headset with a hockey fan while they play against each other on line in an XBOX NHL video game in Brown's game room at his home in south Tampa. The fan chose to be the Washington Capitals and Brown, of course, was the Tampa Bay Lightning. Brown interacts with fans through video game systems as he streams the games live on Twitch with plans for the proceeds to go to charity.
  5. ‘Biggest fight' behind her, Petra Kvitova returns ahead of schedule


    PARIS — Five months after a home invader's knife sliced into her left hand, Petra Kvitova will return to competitive tennis at the French Open, a last-minute decision to make her comeback earlier than expected.

    Petra Kvitova adjusts her hair during a news conference at Roland Garros Stadium, where she will make her tennis return at the French Open. Kvitova's left hand was badly injured by a knife-wielding intruder in December; she has recovered ahead of schedule. [Associated Press]