The Dwayne Roloson quagmire has been solved.
Nicklas Backstrom scored midway through the first period to give the Capitals their first goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning in their last two meetings as the teams are tied at 1-1 after 20 minutes.
The Caps came out firing and found themselves with an early chance when Jason Chimera sprung for a breakaway after a Lightning miscue. A roughing penalty against Mattias Ohlund would give the Capitals an early power play, but they could not score on four shots. Washington had the first six shots on goal.
Despite the hot start, the Lightning struck first on their first shot. Teddy Purcell scored his 11th goal of the season at 3:21 on a routine wrist shot that somehow beat Semyon Varlamov. Purcell charged through the neutral zone and found only John Erskine between him and Varlamov. Purcell got the shot off and it caught Varlamov flat-footed. Purcell has four goals in his last three games.
Backstrom, however, made sure that the Lightning did not strike twice before they had a chance to score. With Matt Hendricks and Purcell (serving for Roloson) in the penalty box, Backstrom scored his 13th goal of the season as a result of crashing the net. Mike Green fired the puck in from the point and Roloson could not handle the rebound. After an initial hack, the puck rolled loose and Backstrom knocked it in at 9:09. It was the first goal that the Caps have scored against Roloson since he joined the Lightning January 1.
There was no love lost between the two teams. Hendricks and Roloson got tangled up in the crease before Backstrom's goal. Shortly after, Hendricks and Steve Downie went at it. Later, Matt Bradley and Adam Hall exchanged punches. The teams combined for 30 penalty minutes.