The Capitals needed to get some breathing room from the Lightning. They got it.
Brooks Laich and Alex Ovechkin would score within two minutes of each other to give the Capitals a 3-2 lead over the Lightning after 40 minutes.
Laich gave the Capitals the lead at 6:38 after some hard work in the offensive zone. Mathieu Perreault found himself involved in a scrum on the left faceoff circle. Perreault was able to corral the puck away from a couple of Lightning players and sent a pass to a streaking Laich in the slot. Laich would then fire a backhand over Roloson for his 10th goal of the season.
Ovechkin, who had his goal in the first period taken away from him after it was awarded to Nicklas Backstrom, made no doubts about it just 1:47 after Laich's goal. While on the power play, Ovechkin rifled a shot from outside the left faceoff circle and beat Roloson as Mike Knuble created traffic in front. The goal gave Ovechkin his sixth straight 20-goal season.
The Capitals, however, continued to play with fire as the period continued. Washington committed two penalties after Ovechkin's goal. The Caps would kill the first one, but weren't so lucky on the second one. Brett Clark would deflect in a Teddy Purcell slap shot to cut the lead to 3-2 as time expired in the second period.