The Tampa Bay Lightning struck first, but in a must-win game, the Washington Capitals struck back.
Marco Sturm's power play goal counteracted Ryan Malone's goal with the man advantage and the Caps and Lightning are tied at 1-1 after 20 minutes.
Mike Knuble committed Washington's first penalty of the game when he interfered with Dwayne Roloson at 8:59 and the Caps killed off the ensuing man advantage for Tampa Bay. But 15 seconds later, Alex Ovechkin received a charging penalty and the Caps returned to the penalty kill. This time, however, the Lightning struck in what seems to be normal fashion in this series. Vincent Lecavalier's centering pass to Malone deflected off of Malone's skate and past Michal Neuvirth for his third goal of the playoffs at 12:37. The referees reviewed the goal and it stood.
Tampa Bay took a cue from Washington and essentially mirrored what the Caps did earlier in the period. Mattias Ohlund committed a cross-checking penalty and the Lightning killed it off. Just seven seconds after the penalty expired, the Lightning took another penalty when Nate Thompson interfered with Neuvirth. On the ensuing power play, the Caps scored with the man advantage for the second straight game when Sturm found the puck in a congested crease and slid it past Roloson for his first goal of the playoffs at 18:30.
Shots are 12-11 in favor of Washington.