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Caps and Lightning try to build on wins

Saturday, 02.18.2012 / 1:32 AM

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

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Caps and Lightning try to build on wins
Washington Capitals vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
CAPITALS (29-23-5) at LIGHTNING (25-26-6)


TV: CSN-MA; SUN (HD)

LAST 10: Washington 4-4-2; Tampa Bay 5-3-2

Season Series: It's game four of six between the Southeast Division rivals. The home team has won each of the first three, with Tampa Bay beating Washington 4-3 in OT at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on Jan. 31 in their last meeting.

Big Story: The Caps and Bolts both find themselves on the outside looking in at the top eight in the East as Washington plays the second of a four-game road trip.

Team Scope:

Capitals: The Caps were 20 minutes away from finding themselves in a serious hole in the division race when they left the ice after two periods in Florida on Friday night down 1-0. A loss would have dropped the Capitals six points behind the first-place Panthers. Instead, goals by Alex Ovechkin and Alexander Semin rallied Washington to a 2-1 lead. The Caps now trail Florida by two points in the division race and eighth-place Toronto by one in the conference.

"We knew the game was all about don't stop believe we can still win the game," Ovechkin said.

Lightning: After sinking to the bottom of the Eastern Conference, the Lightning have been battling their way back up the standings. They took another step forward on Thursday by surviving a 50-shot barrage and beating San Jose 6-5 in overtime on Martin St. Louis' second goal of the night.

The win came after the Lightning dealt center Dominic Moore to the Sharks just before game time.

"Giving up are two words that don't exist in my vocabulary," coach Guy Boucher said. "It's totally against my nature. It's not about how many times we fall or what happens to us, it's really how we react to it and how we get up. We're fighting and you can really see the character of our club."

Who's Hot: Ovechkin has four goals and six points in his last five games; Semin is 3-3-6 in his last five. … Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos leads the NHL with 39 goals and had two goals and a pair of assists against the Sharks.

Injury Report: Washington is still missing two of its top players, center Nicklas Backstrom (concussion) and defenseman Mike Green (groin). Another defenseman, Tom Poti, hasn't played all season due to a groin problem. … Tampa Bay is without defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron (back); forward Dana Tyrell and defenseman Mattias Ohlund may be done for the season with knee surgery.

Stat Pack: St. Louis has a franchise-record nine regular-season OT goals during his 11 seasons with the Lightning. The only active players who have scored more regular-season goals in overtime for their current team are New Jersey's Patrik Elias (15), Phoenix's Shane Doan (10), Ovechkin (10) and Vancouver's Daniel Sedin (10). ... Washington's Troy Brouwer has five goals in the three games against Tampa Bay this season.

Puck Drop: The Lightning were outshot 50-25 by San Jose but outscored the Sharks by getting to the front of the net. The challenge for Boucher is to get his team to do that on a nightly basis.

"Who wants to get whacked, who wants to get sticks in the face?'' Boucher said after Friday's practice. "Nobody wants that. But these guys have a job to do and they need to be reminded about it every day, playing inside the dots. Very few teams, almost none, do that consistently. That's what you fight as a coach every day.

"Last year, we fought really hard at it and became experts at it. This year, we've only done it in spurts.''

2011-2012 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Apr 02 '12WSH 2 at TBL 4S. Stamkos
Mar 08 '12TBL 2 at WSH 3 - OTA. Ovechkin
Feb 18 '12WSH 1 at TBL 2S. Stamkos
Jan 31 '12WSH 3 at TBL 4 - OTS. Stamkos
Jan 13 '12TBL 3 at WSH 4T. Brouwer
Oct 10 '11TBL 5 at WSH 6 - SOM. Hendricks
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
A. Ovechkin55242145-724111
N. Backstrom38132942-22234
D. Wideman58102838+22443
A. Semin54162137+65021
M. Johansson56112031+2813
B. Laich58111829-51842
J. Chimera58151227+34603
T. Brouwer58151227-53935
J. Carlson5872027-72020
M. Perreault409918+71603
J. Ward5751015+62000
J. Halpern5731013-12000
K. Alzner5811213+112500
M. Knuble553912-142600
R. Hamrlik542810+22801
D. Orlov402810-2401
C. Eakin29448+2400
M. Hendricks54347-27200
M. Green11336+1631
J. Schultz35156+3600
J. Erskine28022+35100
J. Beagle17011+21300
T. Kundratek5000+0200
K. Aucoin5000-1000
J. Rechlicz3000+01000
S. Collins2000-1000
D. King1000+0000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
T. Vokoun4223-14-29411872.41.921
M. Neuvirth216-9-3565283.07.894
B. Holtby10-1-05355.08.857
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
S. Stamkos58402767+64869
M. St. Louis53183452+11422
V. Lecavalier58212546+04655
T. Purcell57142236+81641
S. Downie55121628-1512121
R. Malone44101828-53731
M. Bergeron4342024+62010
D. Moore5641519-104801
M. Gilroy4911415+21400
E. Brewer5811314-33100
V. Hedman4231013-73600
N. Thompson527411-141900
P. Kubina523811+15901
B. Clark582810-202000
T. Pyatt50639-9801
B. Connolly44459-11612
B. Gervais37459+1810
R. Shannon35279-91000
J. Wyman16145+1200
D. Tyrell26055-5600
B. Jones22224-31000
A. Hall42123-51300
B. Mikkelson18022+2200
T. Smith4022+4000
M. Angelidis1101+1000
P. Labrie8011+01000
M. Ritola5000-2600
E. Oberg1000+0000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
M. Garon4118-15-410210472.84.903
D. Roloson268-11-2837073.67.883