Caps-Lightning highlights: 3 in a row for Caps
A look inside the Capitals’ nail-biting 4-3 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning Thursday night at Tampa Times Forum:
What it means: With their third straight win the Caps improved to 5-8-1 and are in a five-way tie for last place in the Eastern Conference standings with 11 points, along with Winnipeg [5-6-1], the Islanders [5-7-1], Florida [4-6-3] and Buffalo [5-8-1]. The Caps are now four points out of a playoff spot but play just once in the next six days.
Mixed bag for Holtby: Braden Holtby [4-4-0, 3.89, .877] was spectacular in the first two periods but allowed a bad-angle shot by Teddy Purcell skip through his pads and made a bad decision to poke-check Nate Thompson’s breakaway goal. Most importantly he managed to pick up his third straight win and is expected to get the call Sunday night in New York against the Rangers.
Ca-ching: The Caps’ power play was a perfect 1-for-1 Thursday night, with Mathieu Perreault finding Troy Brouwer in the slot with a perfect one-touch pass. The Caps have now scored a power-play goal in six straight games and are 8-for-15 in that span.
Three for Matty: For a guy who spent the first three weeks of the season in and out of the lineup, Perreault is making the most of his opportunity. He set up a pair of goals by linemate Eric Fehr and posted a career-best three assists against the Lightning.
Impact player: The Caps are 5-2-1 with John Erskine in the lineup and 0-6-0 without him.
Low impact players: The Caps' top line of Alex Ovechkin [5 shots], Mike Ribeiro [1 shot] and Jason Chimera [3 shots] generated some zone play but was also on the ice for two even-strength goals, with each player finishing a minus-2.
Look ahead: The Capitals are expected to have the day off today, with seven players scheduled to visit Children’s NationalMedicalCenter Friday afternoon. They’ll hit the ice again at Kettler on Saturday, then head to New York for Sunday’s 6 p.m. game at MadisonSquareGarden, their first visit there since Game 7 of last year’s conference semifinals. The Caps will then have a rare three-day break in the schedule leading up to Thursday’s home game against the Devils.