Green helps the Caps avoid disaster against Tampa Bay
Instant analysis of the Capitals’ thrilling 6-5 overtime win over the Tampa Bay Lightning Saturday night at Verizon Center:
How it happened: The Caps built leads of 4-0 and 5-1 but saw the Lightning rally back with a pair of goals by Richard Panik and Marty St. Louis before Teddy Purcell sent the game into overtime with 2:35 left in regulation. The Caps won it at the 2:59 mark of overtime when Mike Green blasted a shot past Mathieu Garon for his 10th goal of the season.
More highlights: Alex Ovechkin scored a highlight reel goal [vintage 2008] and picked up an assist as the Caps chased Ben Bishop with three first-period goals. Troy Brouwer and Jack Hillen scored the others. The Caps kept the rubber flying the rest of the night, padding their lead with second-period goals from Jason Chimera and Eric Fehr and finishing with 38 shots.
Big penalty: Marcus Johansson’s strong individual rush to the net forced Vincent Lecavalier to pull him down 1:53 into overtime, putting the Caps on a 4-on-3 power play and setting up Green for his game-winning blast.
What it means: The Caps opened up a four-point lead on the idle Winnipeg Jets atop the Southeast Division standings. Both teams now have six games remaining.
Remaining schedules: The Caps’ last six games look like this: Toronto, at Ottawa, at Montreal, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Boston. The Jets’ remaining schedule looks like this: Tampa, Carolina, Islanders, at Buffalo, at Capitals, Montreal. The Jets finish their season on April 25. The Caps finish two nights later.
Rocket men: Saturday marked the final head-to-head meeting of the season for Alex Ovechkin and Steven Stamkos. Ovechkin, who won the Rocket Richard Trophy in 2008 and 2009, moved into the NHL lead with his 27th goal. Stamkos, who won the award in 2010 and 2012, has one goal in his last seven games. He has seven games remaining. Ovechkin has six.
Cheetah: Jason Chimera’s second-period goal was his second of the season and his first since St. Patrick’s Day. Eric Fehr’s goal was his eighth of the season, which would put him on a 16-goal pace in an 82-game season, second-highest total of his career.
Bloody Saturday: Caps defenseman Steve Oleksy took a high stick in the mouth from Benoit Pouliot but after getting his lip stitched up recorded two assists. Tampa’s Nate Thompson was struck above the right eye by a Mike Green shot, got stitched up and returned for the second period.
Perreault producing: Mathieu Perreault says he models his game after Mike Ribeiro and in the second period Perreault set up Chimera and Fehr with gorgeous passes. His 10 assists this season are four short of last year’s total.
Beasts of the Southeast: The Caps are now 14-3-0 against teams in the Southeast Division, with one more remaining on April 23 against the Jets.
Day off: The Caps will have the day off on Sunday and return to practice at Kettler on Monday. They’ll face the Maple Leafs Monday night in Chinatown.