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Lightning Flash Talent Against Capitals, Lose 4-3

The Tampa Bay Lightning scored the last three goals of the third period against the Montreal Canadiens Tuesday night. They scored the final two goals of the game against the Washington Capitals Thursday night.

And they lost both times.

Washington beat the Tampa Bay 4-3 at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, as the Lightning’s winless to streak extended to six games.

Its comeback attempt fell just short after forwards Teddy Purcell and Nate Thompson each scored in just under five minutes to cut the lead to one.

Fans were left to wonder where that desperation was for the majority of the game, as Tampa Bay let Washington outwork them and take control of the game in the first two and a half periods.

In the first period, Capitals forward Troy Brouwer gave Washington an early lead, scoring (7) on a power play following a hooking penalty by defenseman Victor Hedman.

Despite being outshot 12-6 in the first, the game was tied after one courtesy of forward Martin St. Louis’ goal (4) at 08:23, jamming the puck home after several Bolts crashed the net.

The Capitals second goal was the epitome of how the Lightning played most of the game, when forward Joel Ward outhustled defenseman Matt Carle to a dumped puck and threw it in front for forward Eric Fehr to score his second goal of the season.

The Capitals hard work and hustle continued to wear down the Lightning in the third when Fehr added his second goal of the game and forward Jay Beagle scored his first of the season to make it a 4-1 lead.

All looked hopeless for the lackadaisical Lightning before Purcell’s goal cut the lead to one with just under eight minutes to play.

Lightning Flash Talent Against Capitals, Lose 4-3
Disappointed Tampa Bay Lightning fans look on as Karl Alzner #27 and Braden Holtby #70 celebrate the Washington Capitals 4-3 victory on Thursday night.
(Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)

At that point, the Lightning kicked its game into another level, going on a vicious attack that may have been successful if not for goaltender Braden Holtby’s brilliance in net, coming up with big save after another. Holtby made 27 saves on the night.

An empty-net attempt to tie the game came up short for Tampa Bay.

If the Lightning played with the aggressiveness and desperation they did in the last ten minutes for even half of the game, Tampa Bay could have run away with the game.

Goalie Mathieu Garon played well enough for the Bolts, stopping 35 of 39 Washington shots in the game.

If coach Guy Boucher can get his team to put a complete game together, they could easily return to the level they were at in the beginning of the season when they won six of the first seven games.

They will now travel across the state to take on the Florida Panthers in a Saturday matinée at 3 p.m. ET.

The Capitals will take a three-game winning streak on the road to Madison Square Garden where they will take on the New York Rangers. The puck drops at 6 p.m. ET Sunday.

Taylor Gaines
Tampa Bay Lightning fan pursuing a career as a journalist at the University of Florida.
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