Tampa Bay at Washington

Lecavalier scores goal No. 200 for winning Lightning

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

WASHINGTON -- On the verge of giving away a big lead in what would have been a fifth consecutive loss, Tampa Bay Lightning coach John Tortorella called a timeout and gathered his players for a pep talk.

The gist of his message? "We're playing well," center Tim Taylor recounted. "Control yourselves." With that positive reinforcement, Tortorella pounded his palms together and sent his club back onto the ice to finish off a victory.

Vincent Lecavalier scored his 200th career goal and assisted on Martin St. Louis' 21st and 22nd of the season Tuesday night, and Tampa Bay held on to beat the surging Washington Capitals 5-4.

"This was an opportunity for us to be able to handle a situation. It's something that we've struggled with," said Tortorella, whose team improved to 5-8 in one-goal games. "In these type of situations, when you do get the win like we did, maybe it springboards you to something else."

That's just the sort of thing that happened for Washington after the teams' previous meeting, Nov. 28 at Tampa. The Capitals won 5-2 behind Olaf Kolzig's career-high 48 saves to end a six-game winless drought and start a 7-1-1 roll heading into Tuesday. That loss also began a 1-7-1 slide for Tampa Bay.

But the teams' fortunes switched on this night, with the Lightning outshooting Washington 29-9 through two periods while taking a 5-2 lead that drew loud boos from the announced crowd of 10,417.

"I don't know if we were overconfident going into the game or thinking that we're better than we really are. We didn't show that team enough respect and as a result we were looking at a 5-2 deficit," Kolzig said. "We came close, but because we dug ourselves that big a hole we couldn't ultimately come out of it."

The Lightning had dropped four straight games entering Tuesday, wasting a lead in each of the last three.

"For the first time after a game in a little bit, we get to feel good about ourselves," Taylor said. "We've had a lot of things go bad in the last 10 to 15 minutes of hockey games."

This time, Washington's Kris Beech and Bryan Muir scored in the third period to make it a one-goal game with about seven 1/2 minutes left. But after the timeout, Lightning goalie Marc Denis managed to hold on for only his second win in his last 12 starts.

"They were back in the game, feeling good about themselves and threw everything but the kitchen sink at us," St. Louis said.

It didn't start that way.

The Capitals have been dominant early in games lately, outscoring opponents 14-4 in the first period of the previous nine games. But Washington came out flat Tuesday, outshot 17-5 and outscored 3-1 in the opening period -- the lone bright spot for the hosts was Alexander Ovechkin's fifth goal in three games and 23rd of the season. He wheeled around the net, as though looking for someone to pass to, then stopped near the circle, paused and threaded the puck past Denis.

Lecavalier, the No. 1 overall draft pick in 1998, scored his 19th of the season on a first-period power play as Tampa Bay went 3-for-5 in extra-skater chances.

That helped build the three-goal lead that nearly vanished.

"With all the bad bounces we got in the third, we still held on and got the victory," St. Louis said. "We've been on the other side, in terms of result, for a while now."


  • St. Louis extended his point streak to six games; he has six goals and seven assists during that span.
  • Washington's Donald Brashear was scratched because of an injury; the team listed him as day-to-day. The Capitals wouldn't say what type of injury he has.
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Vincent Lecavalier has reason to celebrate this particular goal. It is the 200th of his NHL career. (AP)
Vincent Lecavalier has reason to celebrate this particular goal. It is the 200th of his NHL career. (AP)
Tampa Bay  (15-17-2) «3205
Washington (15-11-7)1124
Three Stars
M. St. Louis

Goals: 2
Assist(s): 0
V. Lecavalier

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 2
A. Ovechkin

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1

Related Video

Scoring Summary
07:34Power Play - Filip Kuba (4), Tip-In - Assists: Ryan Craig, Vaclav Prospal
12:54Martin St. Louis (21), Slap Shot - Assists: Vincent Lecavalier, Cory Sarich
13:54Alex Ovechkin (23), Wrist Shot - Assists: Brooks Laich, Brian Sutherby
17:15Power Play - Vincent Lecavalier (19), Slap Shot - Assists: Filip Kuba, Dan Boyle
01:35Power Play - Martin St. Louis (22), Backhand Shot - Assists: Vincent Lecavalier, Filip Kuba
08:36Power Play - Jamie Heward (3), Wrist Shot - Assists: Ben Clymer, Kris Beech
19:18Nikita Alexeev (10), Wrist Shot - Assist: Ruslan Fedotenko
10:29Power Play - Kris Beech (4), Wrist Shot - Assists: Alexander Semin, Ben Clymer
12:12Bryan Muir (3), Slap Shot - Assists: Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin
Penalty Summary
06:56Semin: High sticking - 2 min.
10:47Richards: Hooking - 2 min.
15:45Pothier: High sticking - 2 min.
19:55Eminger: Delaying Game - 2 min.
08:30Taylor: Hooking - 2 min.
11:43Beech: Interference - 2 min.
01:01Clark: Elbowing - 2 min.
06:20Prospal: Delaying Game - 2 min.
09:28Kuba: Delaying Game - 2 min.
13:13Sarich: Hooking - 2 min.
Tampa Bay1712635
Marc Denis60:00204
Olaf Kolzig58:46305
Attendance - 10417
Game Time - 60:00
Referees - Dan O'Rourke, Ian Walsh
Line Judges - Thor Nelson, Pierre Racicot
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