Nikita Kucherov scored the lone goal for the Lightning in a 3-1 loss to the Capitals on Saturday night in Washington D.C.
After a scoreless opening period, the Capitals struck first early in the second. Radko Gudas fired a shot from the point that beat Curtis McElhinney through a screen to put Washington up 1-0.
Tampa Bay leveled the score midway through the third period on Nikita Kucherov's 200th career goal. Kucherov cashed in on a puck that had been bouncing around in the slot and wired the shot past Braden Holtby.
The game turned, however, after the Lightning failed to capitalize on a 1:26 two-man advantage immediately following Kucherov's goal.
Taking advantage of the momentum gained from the penalty kill, the Capitals scored minutes after five-on-five play resumed on another shot from the point. This time it was Dmitry Orlov giving Washington the lead, finding space on McElhinney's blocker side to score the eventual game-winner.
Washington then put the game out of reach on an empty net goal from Nic Dowd four minutes later.
McElhinney gets shouldered with the loss but did have a good night with 32 saves on 34 shots. With the Bolts facing heavy pressure most of the night, McElhinney made some key stops to keep the Lightning in the game.
Tampa Bay now returns home to host the Panthers on Monday night.
WSH | 4:40 Radko Gudas (1) - Lars Eller, Jonas Siegenthaler
TBL | 10:00 Nikita Kucherov (12) - Brayden Point, Ondrej Palat
WSH | 13:57 Dmitry Orlov (3) - Jakub Vrana, Evgeny Kuznetsov
WSH | 17:37 Nic Dowd (3) - Tom Wilson, Dmitry Orlov - EN