In a game that went down to the wire, the Washington Capitals suffered a 2-1 defeat Saturday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning. On the heels of last night's victory against the Florida Panthers, the Capitals were looking to end this two night stretch in the state of Florida with consecutive wins. Unfortunately, the play of Tampa's prolific Steven Stamkos and goalie Mathieu Garon propelled the Lightning to the victory.
Stamkos scored his NHL-leading 40th goal of the season early in the second period, grabbing an errant pass and beating Caps goalie Tomas Vokoun on a breakaway to give Tampa a 2-0 lead. Tom Pyatt also scored for the Lightning, while Garon collected 23 saves.
Center Brooks Laich notched the only goal for the Capitals at the 9:31 mark of the second period to cut the deficit to 2-1, but that was as close as Washington would get on this night. If the Capitals had won, they would have moved into a tie with the Panthers for first place in the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference. Washington will look to rebound from this close loss when they travel to face the Carolina Hurricanes Tuesday night at the RBC Center.
For more on this game and all things Capitals hockey, please check out Japers' Rink. For a view from the other bench, please check out SB Nation's Tampa Bay Lightning blog Raw Charge. And for more on this and every NHL game, please check out the SB Nation NHL hub page.