Over the next three weeks, the Lightning will play the Washington Capitals twice more. If they hope to win those contests, they’ll need to replicate their third period performance from this one. The Lightning fired 20 shots on net in the third (a season high for shots in a period) and scored two goals. How did they do it? Their work ethic was extremely high, they were hard on pucks and their passing was crisp. Unfortunately, the Lightning didn’t play with that same urgency and crispness in the first two periods and ended up in a deep hole out of which they were unable to climb.
But there was another reason for the loss. The Caps’ power play was lethal. Washington scored on three of four chances and gained momentum from all of them. Eleven of Washington’s 37 shots came on the power play. The first two power play goals, which were also the first two goals scored in the game, both came in the closing seconds of the advantage – dagger goals for the Lightning to yield.
Complicating matters further for the Lightning was the loss of Tyler Johnson to injury after one shift. The Lightning had to play the rest of the game with only 11 forwards and six defensemen.
But the third period effort and comeback was impressive. Down 4-0 after T.J. Oshie’s PPG at 5:16, the Lightning didn’t pack it in. Their overall play improved – and then, after Brian Boyle scored with 9:11 left, the Lightning enjoyed their first true momentum surge of the game. That surge helped them tack on another goal and continue to carry play up until the final buzzer. They may have run out of time in this game, but they’ll try to use the same formula for success when the teams meet next on December 12. And on that night, they must stay out of the penalty box.
Lightning Radio Big Moment of the Game:
Marcus Johansson’s goal in the final minute of the second, which made the score 3-0 and came moments after J.T. Brown missed on a point blank chance.
Lightning Radio Three Stars of the Game:
1.Evgeny Kuznetsov – Caps. Two assists.
2.Braden Holtby – Caps. 32 saves.
3.Jason Chimera – Caps. Goal and assist.