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Washington
Capitals
50-24-8
Tampa Bay
Lightning
24-40-18

32 SOG
32 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
WSH
TBL
game preview

Capitals-Lightning Preview

Saturday, 02.14.2009 / 7:30 PM

Associated Press

Mike Green said if the puck is on his stick, he's going to shoot.

The more the Washington Capitals defenseman shoots Saturday night at Tampa Bay, the better his chances of making NHL history.

Green has a goal in seven straight games, and with one against the Lightning he'll break the league's longest streak for a defenseman, set by Boston's Mike O'Connell in 1983-84.

"If you don't shoot, you're not going to score," said Green, who has a goal in both meetings this season with Tampa Bay. "I really feel really good, and I'm going to take a shot if I have it."

Green tied O'Connell's record with a pair of goals in a 5-4 shootout loss Wednesday night to the New York Rangers, the last of which tied the game with 58 seconds left in the second period.

Green has scored twice in each of his past two games and has registered five straight multipoint performances. He has nine goals and seven assists during his streak, and leads all NHL defensemen with 21 goals and 49 points despite missing 13 games with a shoulder injury.

"Things just seem to be rolling lately," he said. "It feels pretty special."

Despite Green's play, the Capitals (34-16-5) couldn't avoid a second loss in three games. In the shootout, Jose Theodore got caught off guard on the Rangers' fourth attempt when Ryan Callahan's shot off the crossbar deflected in off the back of Theodore's stick.

"To be honest, I thought when it hits the crossbar and comes back out it's no play," Theodore said. "I didn't really try to get out of the way because for me it was no goal. ... Obviously, I was wrong, so it's a lesson that I learned, I guess."

The Capitals have beaten Tampa Bay (19-25-11) seven straight times, winning 4-2 on Nov. 10 and 7-4 on Jan. 1 this season.

The Lightning are 2-1-0 to start a season-high six-game homestand. However, they've faced the two worst teams in the Eastern Conference - the New York Islanders and Atlanta - and Toronto, which sits 11th in the conference and a point ahead of Tampa.

Tampa Bay held on for a 6-4 victory Thursday night over the Maple Leafs as Martin St. Louis matched a season high with four points. In a 4:13 span in the first period, St. Louis assisted on three scores and notched his 20th goal.

"I just felt good," said St. Louis, who has a team-leading 54 points. "Everything I touched early on, something happened. You build off that and you get confident and you get arrogant in your play."

With the help of Green and reigning league MVP Alex Ovechkin, Washington leads the Southeast Division. Like Green, Ovechkin is on a streak with a point in seven straight games.

The Capitals winger has an NHL-best 37 goals, and his 70 points rank among the league leaders.

After sitting out Wednesday with an undisclosed injury, Washington forward Alexander Semin could return. Semin has 20 goals and 46 points in 36 games.

2008-2009 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Apr 09 '09WSH 4 at TBL 2D. Steckel
Mar 27 '09TBL 3 at WSH 5B. Pothier
Mar 19 '09WSH 5 at TBL 2M. Green
Feb 14 '09WSH 5 at TBL 1A. Ovechkin
Jan 01 '09TBL 4 at WSH 7B. Gordon
Nov 10 '08TBL 2 at WSH 4E. Fehr
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
A. Ovechkin54383371+1364128
N. Backstrom56134558+112881
M. Green43222850+2746152
A. Semin37212849+244915
B. Laich56131831-62162
V. Kozlov47112031-31020
T. Fleischmann47161329+01264
M. Nylander5372027+52632
S. Fedorov2951419+92410
E. Fehr358917+71611
D. Steckel506814+33000
B. Gordon475914+11202
M. Jurcina553811+24401
T. Poti303710+41201
J. Schultz39189+171000
M. Bradley55448+33401
S. Morrisonn46268+05701
C. Clark32156-33200
K. Alzner29145-1200
T. Sloan26145+41400
D. Brashear51134-210101
S. Lepisto7044-3600
B. Helmer12033-1200
S. Collins15112+11200
A. Giroux11112+4601
J. Erskine30022+53300
C. Bourque6101+0000
K. Aucoin3000+2000
G. Mink2000+0000
S. Kronwall1000+0000
A. Gordon1000+0000
O. Osala1000+0000
J. Beagle1000+0000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
J. Theodore3620-10-3979642.80.899
B. Johnson2112-6-2535792.81.908
S. Varlamov22-0-03641.50.953
M. Neuvirth11-0-01321.00.969
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
M. St. Louis56203454+8861
V. Lecavalier56252752+14285
M. Recchi56122537-181821
V. Prospal56132134-123841
R. Malone47191231+37543
S. Stamkos5371522-73131
S. Eminger5441822-43620
J. Jokinen4661016-81620
A. Meszaros5221416-43611
P. Ranger4221113-55600
E. Artyukhin484711+17910
L. Krajicek501910+03800
J. Halpern26358-81011
A. Hall49347-41600
C. Murphy18167+0810
S. Downie26336-24101
R. Vrbata18336-1810
M. Pettinger33246-8901
G. Roberts24415-81821
M. Malik38055-43200
J. Melichar17055-21000
R. Craig33224-43600
P. Szczechura18224+0610
J. Niskala6123+0610
M. Smaby18033-42300
M. Carle12112+1600
M. Lundin25022-4400
C. Gratton18022-31000
J. Heward13022-1400
V. Mihalik7022-2600
R. Smolenak6011+11000
T. Wishart2011+0000
D. Koci18000+16600
K. Quick4000+1000
Z. Konopka3000+01700
A. Hutchinson2000-5000
J. Ward1000+0200
S. O'Brien1000-1000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
M. Smith4114-18-910812822.62.916
O. Kolzig82-4-1252453.66.898
M. McKenna62-2-1131342.67.903
K. Ramo51-2-0171274.68.866
R. Helenius10-0-0020.001.000