Another lackluster effort dooms Caps against Lightning in 3-6 loss

In hopes of following up a superb effort against the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Washington Capitals faced off against their rivals at Amalie arena in Tampa. The result was hardly to the Capitals liking. In effect, Capitals’ abysmal play combined with several unusual bounces sealed their fate before the game finished its first period.

Mikhail Sergechev looped in a shot that was redirected by traffic in from of the net at 1:23. Later, on a power play, Nikita Kucherov rammed a one-timer past Darcy Kuemper’s glove at 8:19 for the two-goal lead. The most unusual goal of the game would come several minutes later from Tampa defenseman Nick Perbix. He launched a shot from the left side that would deflect off both John Carlson’s stick, then Erik Gustafsson’s skate, then into the net. Sergechev would add another power play tally to increase the lead to 4-0 for the Lightning. The goal would finish Kuemper’s duties for the night.

Washington’s anemic offensive did not aid in their efforts. The Capitals did not get a shot on goal until 17 minutes into the first period. Only four shots were produced for the first period and 22 for the game in total. For the majority of the game, they looked unready for the challenges of a professional hockey contest. Connor Sheary ultimately broke the shutout bid late in the second period with a snap shot goal at 18:04. As was the case Friday night, the power play would fail in all six chances it got to convert.

The game was not without its tense moments owing to the previous game’s physical nature. Tampa concentrated on maintaining the lead but would set the tone for a rough evening as well. Washington defenseman Matt Irwin would himself end up with two separate fighting majors.

In a strange third period, both teams would trade goals that made the final score appear somewhat respectable, but hardly changed the game’s outcome. Both teams scored twice in the period. Backup Charlie Lindgren would only allow one with the other being an empty net goal. Tampa had appeared to relent from its forceful game but only briefly. Eller and Garnet Hathaway scored for D.C.

NOTES–Nicholas Aube-Kubel began his suspension for Friday night’s hit on Cal Foote. Kevin McCarthy once again ran the bench during the game while head coach Peter Laviolette continues to remain in COVID protocol. The Capitals have now gone a combined 0 for 16 on the power play for the last three contests.

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