Caps come way back against Lightning

Caps come way back against Lightning
December 10, 2013, 10:00 pm
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Highlights: Caps 6, Lightning 5 (SO)

Instant analysis of the Capitals’ 6-5 shootout win over the Tampa Bay Lightning Tuesday night at Verizon Center.

How it happened: Alex Ovechkin scored four goals and Nicklas Backstrom recorded one goal and four assists, spearheading an incredible rally back from a 3-0 deficit in the most entertaining regular season game in Chinatown in years. Eric Fehr, Mikhail Grabovski  and Troy Brouwer[game-winner]  scored in the shootout and goaltender Philipp Grubauer [37 saves] stopped Ondrej Palat to preserve the shootout victory.

What it means: The Caps extended their winning streak to three games and have won five of their last six. They also moved within seven points of the Metropolitan Division-leading Penguins.

Ovechtrick: Ovechkin’s hat trick [plus one] was the 13th of his NHL career and his first since April 6, 2013 against the Panthers in Sunrise, Fla. Ovechkin scored off a Nick Backstrom faceoff win to make it 3-1 with 5:45 remaining in the first period, then cranked two more past Ben Bishop in a span of 2:10 in the second period to tie it at 4-4. Ovechkin made it 4-3 when he raced to the net to bang home a Marcus Johansson pass, then rifled a Mike Green pass through Bishop for his third of the night, league-leading 25th of the season and league-leading 12th on the power play. Ovechkin’s fourth of the night, another one-timer rocket, came off a pass from John Carlson and brought the house down with 32.4 seconds remaining in regulation.

[RELATED: WATCH all of Ovechkin's four goals against TB]

What was he thinking? Before this season, Mike Green had never taken more than three penalties in the same game. His first-period implosion – a double-minor for high-sticking, two minutes for tripping, another minor for high sticking, and a 10-minute misconduct – was epic. Green ended with 18 penalty minutes in that period. Not sure if that’s a Caps record for a player who did not get into a fight, but it’s got to be right up there.

Holts gets the hook: Braden Holtby had zero chance on the Lightning’s first three goals but he was yanked at the 11:07 mark in favor of rookie Philipp Grubauer, who allowed one goal on nine shots in the second period as the Caps mounted their comeback.

Look ahead: With two days off between games, the Caps will hit the ice at 11 a.m. at Kettler on Wednesday and at 10:30 on Thursday. They visit the Florida Panthers on Friday night in Sunrise, Fla., then face the Flyers in back-to-backs Sunday at home and Tuesday in Philly.