Capitals Vs. Lightning: Washington Cannot Complete Comeback In 4-3 Overtime Loss

The Caps erased a two-goal deficit, but could not completely come back in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Lightning.

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Capitals Vs. Lightning: Washington Cannot Complete Comeback In 4-3 Overtime Loss

The Washington Capitals returned from the All-Star Break Tuesday looking to further prove themselves without their three best players. It seemed as if the Caps would do it again against the Tampa Bay Lightning, erasing a two-goal deficit to send the game to overtime. Yet, without Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Mike Green, the Caps' comeback failed to come complete in a 4-3 overtime loss.

Steven Stamkos scored the game-winning goal and his league-leading 33rd of the season when he put Martin St. Louis' rebound past a sprawling Vokoun. Moments earlier, Vokoun also sprawled, but made a highlight-reel save on Vincent Lecavalier to keep the game tied, but it ultimately did not matter.

Matt Hendricks, Mathieu Perreault and Troy Brouwer scored for Washington, who picked up a crucial point despite the loss to give them a one-point cushion over the idle Florida Panthers, who they face tomorrow in Sunrise.

In positive news, the Caps earned 30 shots on goal for the first time since January 7.

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Capitals Vs. Lightning: Tampa Bay Holds 3-2 Lead After 40 Minutes

The Tampa Bay Lightning took control of the Washington Capitals early in the second period, but the Caps got one back as the Bolts lead 3-2 after 40 minutes.

It did not take long for the Lightning to take their first lead. Martin St. Louis took advantage of Roman Hamrlik's error and a missed offsides call. The Caps had back pressure on St. Louis, but Hamrlik slipped in front of him, which gave St. Louis a wide-open lane to the net. St. Louis sent a backhand through Tomas Vokoun's legs at 1:05 for his 13th goal of the season.

Nate Thompson padded the Bolts' lead at 10:59. He started a cycle around the goal line and sent the puck to Dominic Moore behind the net. Moore then found J.T. Wyman as Thompson cut to the front of the net. Wyman fed an open Thompson for the latter's sixth goal of the season.

Thompson, however, helped cut Washington's deficit to 3-2 when Mathieu Perreault's centering pass deflected off his stick and into the net. Perreault received credit for the goal, his fourth in two games.

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Capitals Vs. Lightning: Caps, Bolts Trade Late Goals, Game Tied At 1-1

It has been a week since the Washington Capitals have played a meaningful game and they looked like that early on against the Tampa Bay Lightning as both teams looked a little sloppy. Yet, they saved the best for last.

The Caps and Bolts traded goals 1:55 apart at the end of the first period as they are tied at 1-1 after 20 minutes.

Matt Hendricks gave the Caps a 1-0 lead at 16:55. Dennis Wideman attempted to send the puck to Brooks Laich along the boards, but the latter got tied up. The puck, however, did not as it squirted free in the Caps' offensive zone. Laich hustled and dove for the loose puck, sweeping it towards Hendricks. Hendricks whiffed on his initial wrist shot, but corralled it, and sent a turnaround backhand shot to the net that beat Mathieu Garon top shelf for his second goal of the season.

Less than two minutes later, Teddy Purcell tied the game at 1-1 when Steve Downie, off a feed from Steven Stamkos, held the puck long enough to send a pass to Purcell in the crease. Purcell was able to fend off Mathieu Perreault and beat Tomas Vokoun. It was Purcell's 13th goal of the season.

Shots are 10-8 in favor of Tampa Bay.

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Capitals Vs. Lightning Game Time, TV Schedule And More

The Washington Capitals will make their return from the All-Star break in Tampa tonight when they face the division-rival Lightning. It will be interesting to see just how sharp the team is after the time off. We all know that Alex Ovechkin wasn't focusing so much on Hockey, so he'll have to get back to reality fairly quickly.

Here is all the information you need to find the game tonight, in whichever medium you prefer.

Game Date/Time: Tuesday, January 31; 7:30pm ET

Location: Tampa Bay Times Forum, Tampa, Florida

TV Schedule: NBC Sports Channel (formerly Versus)

Radio Schedule: 1500 AM

We'll have plenty more on this game throughout the day on SB Nation D.C., so keep it locked to this StoryStream. For more on the Capitals, as always, head over to our Japers' Rink blog. For more on their opponent, please check out SB Nation's Lightning blog Raw Charge. For more on this and every NHL game, please check out the SB Nation NHL hockey hub page.

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Capitals Vs. Lightning: Washington Returns From All-Star Break In Tampa Bay

It has been a week since the Washington Capitals played a meaningful game. Now that the annual All-Star Break is over, the Caps return to the ice to begin what should be a meaningful three-game road trip against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Last Tuesday, the shorthanded Caps, missing Alex Ovechkin (suspension), Nicklas Backstrom (head injury) and Mike Green (abdominal surgery) for the first time since all three entered the NHL, defeated the Boston Bruins 5-3 behind Mathieu Perreault's first career hat trick. The win put the Caps on top of the Southeast Division due to tiebreakers with the Florida Panthers, who are tied with the Caps at 55 points. Washington will once again be without the aforementioned players until at least Saturday, when Ovechkin is eligible to return from his three-game suspension.

Meanwhile, the Lightning entered the break on a streak of their own, winning four straight games to pull themselves within nine points of both the Caps and Panthers. After coming within one game of the Stanley Cup Final last season, the 21-23-4 Lightning have failed to live up to expectations and being decimated by injuries does not help matters. Yet, Tampa Bay might be healthier Tuesday after Victor Hedman (concussion), Ryan Shannon (knee) and Tom Pyatt (lower body) practiced without no-contact jerseys.

The Caps are 2-0 against the Lightning this season, but have yet to visit Tampa Bay Times Forum since losing Games 3 and 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals there last season. Tampa Bay swept Washington out of the postseason with those two victories.

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Capitals Vs. Lightning: Nicklas Backstrom Did Not Skate During All-Star Break, According To Dale Hunter

BALLSTON, Va. - The Washington Capitals returned to practice after the All-Star Break Monday at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. Every healthy player except for Dennis Wideman, who was given a day off after his appearance at the All-Star game, according to a team spokesman, participated in practice:

Alex Ovechkin/Marcus Johansson - Mathieu Perreault - Alexander Semin

Matt Hendricks - Brooks Laich - Troy Brouwer

Jason Chimera - Jeff Halpern - Mike Knuble

Jay Beagle - Cody Eakin - Joel Ward/Joel Rechlicz

Rechlicz, recalled from AHL Hershey Monday, was brought up to add some toughness to the Caps' lineup, according to head coach Dale Hunter. Hunter also said that Rechlicz, who has 23 career games of NHL experience, will be a game-time decision Tuesday against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

In discouraging news, Nicklas Backstrom did not skate at all during the All-Star break, according to Hunter. In the last 24 days, Backstrom has skated for only five minutes. Backstrom suffered a head injury January 3 against the Calgary Flames.

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Capitals Vs. Lightning: Washington Signs, Recalls Joel Rechlicz, Cody Eakin From AHL Hershey

The Caps have signed and recalled forward Joel Rechlicz from AHL Hershey along with Cody Eakin.

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