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National Hockey League
Washington 3, Tampa Bay 1
When: 7:00 PM ET, Saturday, December 21, 2019
Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, District of Columbia
Referees: Michael Markovic, Dean Morton
Linesmen: Devin Berg, Derek Nansen
Attendance: 18573

Dmitry Orlov scored the tiebreaking goal late in the third period, and Nic Dowd added an empty-netter as the Washington Capitals defeated the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning 3-1 Saturday night.

The game was tied 1-1 when two penalties forced Washington to play two men short for 86 seconds. But the Capitals killed off those penalties, and Orlov broke the deadlock less than a minute later with a slap shot from just inside the left point for a 2-1 lead with 6:03 remaining.

Washington was called for another penalty a few minutes later, and Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper pulled goalie Curtis McElhinney with just under four minutes left. That gave the Lightning a 6-on-4 advantage, but Dowd scored a short-handed empty-netter with 2:23 left.

The victory let Washington sweep the three-game season series with Tampa Bay.

Also, Alex Ovechkin of the Capitals was one of four players voted in as captains for the Jan. 25 All-Star Game in St. Louis, home of the defending NHL champion Blues. It is his third straight year as the Metropolitan Division captain.

The Capitals took a 1-0 lead when Radko Gudas fired a long shot past McElhinney 4:40 into the second period. Jonas Siegenthaler dug out the puck behind the net for Washington and sent it over to Lars Eller on the right wing. Eller then found Gudas near the center of the blue line, and the defenseman scored his first goal this season on a shot that snaked its way past McElhinney.

The Capitals had several good shots, and finished with a 35-27 edge in that area, but the Lightning tied it at the 10-minute mark of the third period on a Nikita Kucherov goal. The reigning MVP one-timed a loose puck in the slot into the top right corner.

Tampa Bay had a good chance to take the lead soon after as Washington got those two penalties. But Caps goalie Braden Holtby (26 stops) made at least three tough saves, the defense stepped up, and Washington killed both.

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
Tampa Bay   Washington
Nikita Kucherov 1 Points Dmitry Orlov 2
Nikita Kucherov 1 Goals Dmitry Orlov 1
Ondrej Palat 1 Assists Dmitry Orlov 1
N/A Power Play Goals N/A
N/A Short Handed Goals Nic Dowd 1
Curtis McElhinney .941 Save Percentage Braden Holtby .963
Curtis McElhinney 32 Saves Braden Holtby 26
Team Stats Summary
Team Shots Goals Power Play Penalty Kill Penalty Mins Face Offs Won
Tampa Bay 27 1 0-7 3-3 6 35
Washington 35 3 0-3 7-7 14 29
Upcoming Games
  • Washington will play their next game on the road against Boston. The Capitals have a W/L % of .692 after a win and .727 after a loss.
  • Tampa Bay will play their next game at home against Florida. The Lightning have a W/L % of .353 after a win and .647 after a loss.