Washington at Tampa Bay

Lightning play big to end 12-game losing streak to Capitals


TAMPA, Fla. -- Alexander Ovechkin was the center of attention without scoring a goal.

Martin St. Louis scored the go-ahead goal and the Tampa Bay Lightning ended a 12-game losing streak to Washington with a 7-4 victory over the Capitals on Tuesday.

Ovechkin was accused of a "dirty" play for a hit in the third on Tampa Bay's Steve Downie, and the pair later dropped their gloves and were set to fight in the Lightning zone with six minutes left to play. Washington right wing Matt Bradley skated in front of Ovechkin and fought Downie.

"Downs makes a move, he [Ovechkin] sticks his knee out, leaves his knee out there," Tampa Bay center Jeff Halpern said of Ovechkin's hit. "It's not the cheapest hit in the world, but it's still a dirty hit. I think it's a dangerous hit."

Tampa Bay coach Rick Tocchet said he didn't see the play, but added that several Lightning players told him that Ovechkin did stick his knee out. Ovechkin served a two-game suspension earlier this season for a kneeing penalty on Nov. 30.

Ovechkin had already talked with reporters before Halpern made his comments. The Washington captain addressed his near fight.

"I dropped my helmet and I dropped my gloves, so I was ready to fight," Ovechkin said. "Brads jumped in to fight for me. He did a great job."

Bradley received four penalties, including two minutes for instigating, a fighting major and a game misconduct. Downie got a fighting penalty and a 10-minute misconduct, while Ovechkin received a minor penalty.

The NHL office is expected to review Bradley's action. He was on the bench when the altercation started, but said he waited until another Washington player returned to the bench before going on the ice.

"I would never leave the bench and just randomly go after the guy," Bradley said. "We've got a guy like that going after our best player. Obviously, we can't let that happen."

After blowing a three-goal lead, St. Louis' 250th career goal put Tampa Bay up 5-4 lead with 2:32 left in the second. The right wing extended his point streak to 11 games.

Steven Stamkos had a pair of power-play goals as the Lightning took a 4-1 first-period lead. Vincent Lecavalier, Stephane Veilleux, Kurtis Foster and Halpern had the other Lightning goals. St. Louis added two assists.

Washington, which lost to Tampa Bay for the first time since a 5-2 loss on Nov. 16, 2007, got two goals from Mike Green. Alexander Semin and Eric Fehr also scored for the Southeast Division leaders.

Foster and Halpern extended the Lightning advantage to 7-4 in the third.

Lecavalier and Stamkos put the Lightning up 2-0 midway through the first. After Semin scored at 14:05, Tampa Bay went up 4-1 when Stamkos got his 25th goal of the season and Veilleux scored his first goal in 23 games late in the period.

Green had two power-play goals in the second, including one that tied it at 4 with 7:52 left in the period. Fehr also scored during the second.

Tampa Bay goalie Mike Smith was shaken up at 10:39 of the first when Capitals left wing Brooks Laich, who was penalized for interference on the goalkeeper, skated into him and made contact.

Smith remained in the game, but then left seven minutes into the second with a neck strain. Smith, who missed half of last season with post-concussion symdrome, is day to day and will be re-examined on Wednesday.

Washington goalie Michal Neuvirth, who allowed four goals in 15 shots, was pulled after the first period.


  • The Capitals entered out-scoring their opponents 54-25 during the first period this season.
  • Stamkos had 23 goals during his rookie year last season.
  • Capitals D John Erskine didn't play due to an undisclosed upper-body injury.
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Steven Stamkos scores two power-play goals in the first period, taking his total to 26 goals. (Getty Images)
Steven Stamkos scores two power-play goals in the first period, taking his total to 26 goals. (Getty Images)
Washington (27-12-6)1304
Tampa Bay  (18-17-10) «4127
Three Stars
S. Stamkos

Goals: 2
Assist(s): 1
M. St. Louis

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 2
B. Bochenski

Goals: 0
Assist(s): 3

Related Video

Scoring Summary
06:34Vincent Lecavalier (11), Wrist Shot. Assist: Tanguay
12:03Power Play - Steven Stamkos (25), Slap Shot. Assist: Bochenski, Foster
14:05Alexander Semin (19), Wrist Shot. Assist: Fleischmann, Schultz
17:28Power Play - Steven Stamkos (26), Wrist Shot. Assist: Bochenski, St. Louis
18:35Stephane Veilleux (2), Wrist Shot, Unassisted.
01:34Power Play - Mike Green (11), Backhand Shot. Assist: Semin, Ovechkin
07:44Eric Fehr (11), Wrist Shot. Assist: Morrison, Chimera
12:08Power Play - Mike Green (12), Wrist Shot. Assist: Backstrom, Ovechkin
17:28Power Play - Martin St. Louis (13), Slap Shot. Assist: Stamkos, Bochenski
04:00Kurtis Foster (7), Wrist Shot. Assist: Hedman, St. Louis
09:54Power Play - Jeff Halpern (8), Slap Shot. Assist: Lecavalier, Tanguay
Penalty Summary
10:39Laich, 2 min, Goaltender Interference
15:44Poti, 2 min, Cross-Checking
34.0Downie, 2 min, Slashing
11:03Hedman, 2 min, Holding
16:13Laich, 2 min, Tripping
20:00Chimera, 2 min, Hooking
05:17Backstrom, 2 min, Cross-Checking
08:12Backstrom, 2 min, Boarding
11:51Ovechkin, 2 min, Roughing
11:51Downie, 2 min, Roughing
14:00Bradley, 5 min, Fighting
14:00Downie, 5 min, Fighting
14:00Bradley, 2 min, Instigator
14:00Ovechkin, 2 min, Unsportsmanlike Conduct
14:00Bradley, 10 min, Misconduct
14:00Downie, 2 min, Hooking
14:00Downie, 10 min, Misconduct
14:00Bradley, 10 min, Misconduct
16:17Steckel, 5 min, Fighting
16:17Konopka, 5 min, Fighting
16:50Meszaros, 2 min, Hooking
18:26Ohlund, 2 min, High-Sticking
19:23Ovechkin, 2 min, Slashing
Shots On Goal
Tampa Bay1551636
Michal Neuvirth20:00114
Jose Theodore39:57183
Antero Niittymaki33:06222
Mike Smith26:36102
Game Information
Attendance - 13891
Referees - Marc Joannette, Francois St-Laurent
Linesmen - Steve Miller, Mark Shewchyk
Other Games
NJ 1 Final
Ott 1 Final
Atl 6
Nash 5 Final
Edm 3
Colu 1 Final
StL 4
Det 0 Final
Car 4 Final
Tor 2
Dal 3 Final
Phi 6
SJ 3 Final
Pho 1