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Lightning-Capitals Preview @NHL
Lightning-Capitals Preview

GAME: Tampa Bay Lightning (11-9-3) at Washington Capitals (8-13-0).

TIME: Wednesday, 7 p.m. EST.

The Tampa Bay Lightning's first two visits this season to the MCI Center both resulted in shootout losses. This time, however, they face the Washington Capitals looking to win their season-high fourth straight game.

On Oct. 16, Washington goaltender Olaf Kolzig made 38 saves in regulation and overtime before denying two shots in the shootout as the Capitals handed Tampa Bay a 3-2 loss.

The teams met again in a shootout on Nov. 15. In that contest, Lightning backup goalie Sean Burke allowed the only goal in the shootout to Caps rookie Alexander Ovechkin in a 4-3 loss.

The Lightning have started to play better after a slow start, matching a season high with their third straight win, 4-2 at Philadelphia on Tuesday.

Brad Richards and Dan Boyle scored 86 seconds apart late in the second period for Tampa Bay, which has won four of five after losing six in a row.

"I don't want to say that we have their number," Richards said. "They're a good team and they can beat anybody any night."

Richards has scored goals in three straight games, but has never extended a scoring run beyond that. He has two goals in 24 career games against Washington.

Burke may also have earned himself another start. The 17-year veteran has stopped 83 of 93 shots this season and has yet to lose in six appearances.

The Capitals staged a late rally after allowing four first-period goals before falling at Pittsburgh 5-4 on Tuesday.

Ovechkin, among the league leaders with 15 goals, was limited to one assist in the loss, Washington's fifth in seven games.

"I must score when if I have a great chance to score," Ovechkin said. "I'm disappointed because we lost this game and the first period was terrible."

Ovechkin has three goals and an assist in three game against Tampa Bay.

STANDINGS (through Nov. 22): Lightning - 25 points, 2nd place, 4 PB, Southeast Division. Capitals - 16 points, 4th place (tied), 13 PB, Southeast Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Lightning - Vaclav Prospal, 13 goals, 18 assists and 31 points; Pavel Kubina, 40 PIM. Capitals - Ovechkin, 15 goals and 22 points; Jeff Halpern, 12 assists; Brendan Witt, 68 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Nov. 22): Lightning - Power play: 13.8 percent (19 for 139), 25th in NHL. Penalty killing: 84.4 percent (98 for 116), 9th. Capitals - Power play: 12.5 percent (14 for 115), 28th. Penalty killing: 78 percent (121 for 155), 28th.

GOALTENDERS: Lightning - John Grahame (8-8-1, 1 SO, 2.85 GAA); Burke (3-0-2, 1.89). Capitals - Kolzig (7-8-0, 3.67); Brent Johnson (1-4-0, 5.34).

SEASON SERIES: Capitals, 2-1.

LAST MEETING: Nov. 15; Capitals, 4-3, SO. At Washington, Ovechkin scored the tying goal with 75 seconds left in regulation and added the game-winner in the shootout.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Lightning - 6-5-2 on the road; Capitals - 6-4-0 at home.

Associated Press
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