WASHINGTON -- Olaf Kolzig was touched for two goals in the first period and then shut down the defending champions all the way through a shootout.
"That's what they pay the goalie for," Kolzig said. "They're obviously an explosive team, and the more people you take off the ice (during overtime), it gives them room to generate stuff. Fortunately we shut them down and got a couple goals in the shootout and go home with a win."
Kolzig, who has the most wins in Capitals history, was the difference in getting Washington into its first shootout. He then turned aside shots by Martin St. Louis and Brad Richards to seal the victory.
Alexander Ovechkin and Petr Sykora scored during the shootout for Washington. Vincent Lecavalier, who had his fourth goal of the season in regulation, was the only Lightning player to beat Kolzig in the extra session.
Lecavalier also added an assist, and Vaclav Prospal netted his fourth goal for the Lightning.
Tampa Bay held a 40-14 shots advantage but couldn't score on Kolzig after Prospal made it 2-1 with 2:03 left in the first period.
"We got some shots on goal, not a lot of quality chances," Lightning forward Dave Andreychuk said. "It's one of those games where the team hangs in there. Their goaltender gives them a chance to win the game."
Washington won its first shootout while the Lightning fell to 0-2 in the new tiebreaker.
The Lightning had eight power plays, including six in the first period, but only Lecavalier took advantage - scoring off a pass from Andreychuk 9:20 in. Tampa Bay did not allow a goal in three Washington power plays.
"Our power play is as bad as our penalty killing is great," Tampa Bay coach John Tororella said. "And I shudder to think where we'd be now if our penalty killing wasn't what it is right now."
Washington tied it less than two minutes after Lecavalier's goal, when Clark deflected a shot off goalie Sean Burke's side and into the net. It was Clark's first goal since March 20, 2004, a stretch of 19 games.
After Prospal restored the Lightning lead, the Capitals got even at 2 less than four minutes into the second period on Zubrus' third goal.
- The Southeast Division rivals will play seven more times this season.
- Ovechkin has at least one point in each of his first seven NHL games. He had an assist Sunday and is the only Capitals player to have a point in every game this season.
- Tampa Bay has not allowed a power-play goal on the road this season.
- The announced crowd of 10,002 at MCI Center was the Capitals smallest in five home games this season.