Here are the takeaways from this Lightning's overtime loss in Washington.
- Similar to Wednesday's game against St. Louis, the Lightning went toe-to-toe with one of the league's heavyweights. While again they didn't record a win - and the defeat leaves a similarly bitter taste - they produced a strong, overall performance. The Capitals enjoyed the run of play in the first period, but the Lightning carried the second. And in the third, even though the Caps outscored the Lightning, 2-0, and rallied from a 3-1 deficit, the Lightning generated numerous scoring chances. In the end, it was a very, close game in which the Capitals made one more play than the Lightning. And unlike Wednesday's contest, the Lightning at least banked a point.
- Also similar to Wednesday's contest, the Lightning lost the special teams battle. Brayden Point scored a first period power play goal, but the Lightning surrendered goals during both of Washington's man advantage opportunities. The Lightning penalty kill had enjoyed a stretch in which they successfully killed 33 of 34 opposition power plays. But dating back to the third period against St. Louis, they've now allowed goals in each of their past three shorthanded situations.
- The Lightning brought a high compete and, after the first period, owned a majority of the puck possession. They broke down the Washington defense, both off the rush and during sustained offensive zone shifts. Mikhail Sergachev's goal and Alex Killorn's tally came at the end of such o-zone sequences. In the first period, they struggled to execute clears from their own end and those turnovers fueled Washington's attack. But in the second and third, they exited the d-zone more efficiently, so they spent less time defending without the puck. Having written that, a key neutral zone turnover early in the third led to Jakub Vrana's goal off the rush, a tally that cut the Lightning lead to 3-2.
- It may be true that the Lightning's solid play resulted in several chances during the third period to either extend their lead - or, after the Caps tied the score, retake it. But still, this was a game in which the Lightning brought a 3-1 lead into the third period and couldn't get it across the finish line. It's been the "year of the comeback" in the NHL - many teams have surrendered third period leads already this season (often more than a two-goal edge). But as the season progresses, the Lightning want to ensure that when they carry a lead into the third period, they're able to lock it down and secure two points.
Lightning Radio Three Stars of the Game:
Jakub Vrana - Capitals. Goal and assist.
Nikita Kucherov - Lightning. Three assists.
Brayden Point - Lightning. Goal and assist.