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game recap

Orlov goal pushes Capitals past Lightning

Washington gets 10th win in 12 games; Kucherov scores 200th goal for Tampa Bay

by Harvey Valentine / Independent Correspondent

Orlov pots one-time goal

TBL@WSH: Orlov one-times Vrana's feed past McElhinney

Dmitry Orlov takes a dish from Jakub Vrana and cranks a one-timer past Curtis McElhinney to give the Capitals a 2-1 lead in the 3rd

  • 00:42 •

WASHINGTON -- Dmitry Orlov scored the go-ahead goal with 6:03 remaining in the third period, and the Washington Capitals defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-1 at Capital One Arena on Saturday.

Orlov scored through a screen on a one-timer from the point off a pass from Jakub Vrana in the corner.

Radko Gudas and Nic Dowd scored for Washington (26-6-5), which is 10-2-0 in its past 12 games and 19-4-2 in its past 25. Braden Holtby made 26 saves, and the Capitals won for the second straight night, having defeated the New Jersey Devils 6-3 on the road Friday.


[WATCH: All Lightning vs. Capitals highlights]


"They were a little fresher than us," Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin said of the Lightning, who hadn't played since losing 4-3 in overtime to the Dallas Stars on Thursday. "But I think you see how [Holtby] played, and the PK do obviously a great job, and we just stick to the plan."

Nikita Kucherov scored his 200th NHL goal, and Curtis McElhinney made 32 saves for Tampa Bay (17-13-4), which is 1-2-1 in its past four games.

"I can't sit here and say we played very well," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "I can't say that about our team in the last month and a half. It was two tough periods for us. McElhinney kept us in it. I've got to give the guys credit. We come out and had a strong third."

Video: TBL@WSH: Kucherov beats Holtby for 200th NHL goal

The Lightning tied it 1-1 at 10:00 of the third period when Kucherov shot over Holtby's left shoulder from the slot.

With the score still tied, Tampa Bay had a 5-on-3 power play for 1:26 beginning at 11:09 but did not score.

"We have a chance to go up [on the 5-on-3], and we don't do it," Lightning forward Brayden Point said. "They come back after that to score one, and we're chasing."

Holtby said of the 5-on-3 penalty kill, "We stuck to our process, and we trusted me to make those saves, took away lateral options. They're going to get looks. They're too skilled not to. It's just a matter of when they get them, don't get running around after [them], and we did a great job of that."

The Lightning were 0-for-7 on the power play. The Capitals were 0-for-3.

"We're a proud group and we're not happy about our performance on the power play tonight," Tampa Bay defenseman Victor Hedman said. "We take it upon us to go out there and get us goals and get us momentum, and we didn't do that today, and that's on us."

Washington took a 1-0 lead at 4:40 of the second period on a Gudas slap shot from the point that appeared to deflect in off Tampa Bay defenseman Mikhail Sergachev.

Video: TBL@WSH: Gudas scores first goal with Capitals

"I didn't particularly think it was a great shot, but it hit off somebody [in front], so really fortunate to bounce that one in," Gudas said. "Important thing is the two points tonight."

It was the first goal with the Capitals for Gudas, who was acquired from the Philadelphia Flyers in a trade for fellow defenseman Matt Niskanen on June 14.

Dowd scored into an empty net with 2:23 remaining for the 3-1 final.


They said it

"I don't think the first two periods were to our standards. I think we got skating better in the third. [Things are] going against us a little bit here of late. Last game, against Dallas, we played really good and only came away with one point, and today we weren't at our best, but we were still in it after two periods and able to tie the game." -- Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman

"[Holtby] was incredible all night, but specifically in that 5-on-3. That was huge. … They have a lot of weapons on that unit. We did a really good job of obviously not giving up a goal, and then like you saw, it led to some momentum, and a couple shifts later, we get the game-winner." -- Capitals forward Nic Dowd


Need to know

Washington won all three games against Tampa Bay, sweeping the season series for the first time since 2015-16. … Kucherov has 19 points (10 goals, nine assists) in a 13-game point streak against Washington. …The Capitals are 5-0-1 in the second game of a back-to-back and 11-1-0 against Atlantic Division opponents. … Both of Orlov's game-winning goals this season have come against Tampa Bay. He scored in overtime of a 4-3 win Nov. 29.


What's next

Lightning: Host the Florida Panthers on Monday (7 p.m. ET; SUN, FS-F, NHL.TV)

Capitals: At the Boston Bruins on Monday (7 p.m. ET: SN, NESN, NBCSWA, NHL.TV)

Video: Orlov, Holtby lead Capitals past Lightning, 3-1

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