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Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Washington Capitals @NHLdotcom
Lightning-Capitals Preview

GAME: Tampa Bay Lightning (3-2-1) at Washington Capitals (2-4-0).

TIME: Sunday, 6 p.m. EDT.

The defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning have been searching for momentum early in the season.

Tampa Bay will try to string together back-to-back wins for the first time when they meet the Washington Capitals at the MCI Center.

The Lightning have alternated wins and losses in their first seven games. On Saturday, Vincent Lecavalier scored one goal and set up two others in Tampa Bay's 3-1 win over the winless Pittsburgh Penguins.

"Things were going in, that's the way it went tonight, and we need to keep it going because it's a long season," said Lecavalier.

Lecavalier has eight goals and 10 assists in 29 career games against Washington.

Part of the Bolts' early-season struggles could be linked to their play with the man advantage. Ruslan Fedotenko scored a power-play goal in the win over the Penguins, just Tampa Bay's third in 37 chances so far.

With this game, the Capitals wrap up a stretch of four games in six days. Matt Bradley scored twice in Washington's 5-3 loss Thursday to the New York Islanders.

Backup goaltender Brent Johnson, acquired on waivers just before the start of the season, made 44 saves in the loss.

"I haven't played that much in a long time and I felt the nerves," Johnson said.

The Capitals have allowed a league-worst 31 goals so far and likely will look to veteran Olaf Kolzig to start in net. Kolzig has appeared in 28 games against Tampa Bay and has an 18-8-0 record with a 2.39 goals-against average and .910 save percentage.

One of the few bright spots for Washington continues to be Alexander Ovechkin. The top overall pick in the 2004 draft has at least one point in all six games he has played.

STANDINGS: Lightning - 7 points, 2nd Place, 1 PB, Southeast Division. Capitals - 4 points, 4th place (tied), 4 PB, Southeast Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Lightning - Vaclav Prospal and Lecavalier, 3 goals; Prospal, Fedotenko, and Cory Sarich, 4 assists; Prospal, 7 points; Pavel Kubina, 20 PIM. Capitals - Ovechkin, 4 goals and 7 points; Jeff Halpern, 4 assists; Brendan Witt, 19 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Oct. 14): Lightning - Power play: 6.6 percent (2 for 30), 29th in NHL. Penalty killing: 94.1 percent (32 for 34), 1st. Capitals - Power play: 15.0 percent (6 for 40), 18th. Penalty killing: 75.9 percent (41 for 54), 25th.

GOALTENDERS: Lightning - John Grahame (2-2-1, 0 SO, 2.25 GAA); Sean Burke (1-0-0, 0, 0.88). Capitals - Kolzig (2-3-0, 0, 4.81); Johnson (0-1-0, 0, 5.07).

SEASON SERIES: Lightning, 4-2-0.

LAST MEETING: March 27, 2004; Lightning, 4-1. At Tampa, Fla., Lecavalier scored twice for the Lightning.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Lightning - 1-1-0 on the road; Capitals - 2-2-0 at home.

Associated Press

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