Game 43: Tampa Bay Lightning at Washington Capitals

The Tampa Bay Lightning lost to the Washington Capitals 4-3.

This was another partial game by the Lightning. While I've accepted the fact that the second period simply will never be all that great for them this season, the first wasn't very good, either. Had the Lightning played better in the first period, the Lightning probably would've won this game.

The second of back-to-back games often isn't pretty, and this one was no exception. For much of the game, they looked disorganized, tired at times, and weak positionally at other times. The third period, they played fairly well - but they have a habit of playing well in the third period.

Perhaps the most surprising was the fact that, despite being tired, they tried playing a physical game. Playing physical will just wear you out faster, so it was puzzling to see. They weren't consistent about it, but the fact that did it at all is a head scratcher.

It was chippy, and it wasn't very pretty at times - particularly since the Lightning seem to have found this talent to be their worst enemy on the ice.

So far as statistics are concerned, the Lightning pretty well dominated this game. So the Caps weren't having their best night, either. It was definitely a winnable game for the Lightning.

And they almost came back to tie it in the third period, too. Had that empty net goal not happened, the Lightning would've at least pushed the game into overtime. Vincent Lecavalier made a valiant effort at the very end, and scoring a goal, but it just didn't happen.

It wasn't necessarily the best game for Dwayne Roloson. The first two goals for the Caps shouldn't have gone in. The second one, in particular, was due to Roloson trying to cheat his way into a save. After those first two, however, he settled down into a pretty good game. Not that he had much work - the Caps only ended up with 20 shots on the night.

The odd thing to see what that the team, as a whole, was not playing well positionally for stretches of a time. I realize that they were tired and all, but It was strange to see a hockey team at the NHL level to do. And because players weren't in their positions at times, they were scrambling to recover, and not playing their game due to that.

The next game is Sunday, 15 January, versus the Pittsburgh Penguins. Game time is an early 1 pm ET in the afternoon. If you're not attending the game, then please stop in and say hi. The Raw Charge game thread goes live at 12:30 pm.

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