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Capitals extend road dominance, knock off Lightning

Capitals extend road dominance, knock off Lightning
Image Credit: pixabay

Lars Eller and Garnet Hathaway scored 45 seconds apart to break a third-period tie in the Washington Capitals' 5-2 win over the host Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night. Washington improved to an NHL-best 24-5-5 overall and 15-2-1 on the road.

T.J. Oshie and Nicklas Backstrom each contributed a goal and an assist, and Tom Wilson tallied for the Capitals, who are also 15-3-2 since the start of November. Backup goalie Ilya Samsonov recorded 26 saves to move to 8-2-1.

Brayden Point netted his 12th goal, and Jan Rutta scored his first as a member of the Lightning, who played their fourth game in six days (2-2-0). Nikita Kucherov recorded an assist, but the right-winger -- the NHL's MVP and points leader last season -- was injured in the middle of the second period and did not return.

Alex Killorn recorded two assists, and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 29 saves. An exchange miscue by Rutta and Ondrej Palat led to an early 1-0 lead for Washington.

The Lightning pair bumped into each other behind Vasilevskiy's net, and the puck bounced in front of the goalie and found Backstrom. The Swedish forward jumped on the scoring chance and popped in his sixth goal, an unassisted marker, at 6:42. After having a goal waved off due to goalie interference in the first five minutes of the second, Tampa Bay nearly allowed a short-handed tally, but Vasilevskiy's save immediately led to offense.

Killorn dished a pass from below the right circle, and Point tied it with a power-play goal at 5:45. The play had to be stopped at 9:31 of the second period after Kucherov took a blast from John Carlson directly on the laces at the top of his right skate and fell to the ice.

A 41-goal scorer in a Hart- and Art Ross Trophy-winning season a year ago, Kucherov was helped to the dressing room to be evaluated and ruled out of the rest of the contest. Eller broke the 1-1 tie at 1:58 of the third when he scored for just the second time in the last 18 games, and Hathaway finished a second consecutive three-on-two rush by chipping in his fifth goal at 2:43.

Rutta's wrister from the right circle cut it to 3-2 in the third, but Oshie scored his third goal in two games to make it 4-2. Wilson scored into an empty net in the last minute of play.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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