It's not over until it's over. That's an overused phrase for sure...for a reason.
The Tampa Bay Lightning had a bipolar showing in its last game against its divisional foe, the Washington Capitals on Saturday night when they lost to 6-5 in overtime despite a four goal comeback. Capital's defensemen Mike Green scored the game winner in extra minutes.
The Capitals were surely a mismatch for the Lightning. Washington came into this game winning six games in a row, now make that a seven game win streak for the Southeast division leaders.
Fans might be surprised as they read this write up, as they might have turned it off after the first period.
The first few minutes of the first period were decent for the Lightning before Troy Brouwer scored at 13:45 of the first period. Then the wheels just fell off. Tampa went on the penalty kill four straight times, killing off only one. Capitals XX Jack Hillen found the net at 18:45 of the first period and thirty seconds later, Alexander Ovechkin scored at 19:22 making it a 3-0 for the Capitals going into the locker room after the first period.
It does not set a positive tone for your team if the team is shorthanded for the majority of the first period. There is no way to establish rhythm or have any kind of balance.
Tampa Bay's best skaters Marty St Louis, Steven Stamkos, and Vincent Lecavalier had limited ice time in the first period because of penalties
Lightning Head Coach John Cooper decided to close the locker room doors during the first intermission and made all of his players inaccessible to have words with the team and set the tone for the rest of the game.
He surely did.
Tampa goaltender Ben Bishop started the game and saved 17 of 20 shots. But, Cooper made the decision to change net minders.
Mathieu Garon replaced Ben Bishop in between the pipes to start the second period. At 2:41 of the second period, Jason Chimera scored to extend Washington's lead to 4-0
The 4-0 hole didn't get the Lightning into panic mode. It did the exact opposite. Richard Panik's backhand shot saw its way behind Braden Holtby at 3:55. Shorty after, Eric Fehr netted his own goal keeping the Capitals at a 5-1 distance.
Then the Lightning came alive. The team started moving the puck better than they did in the first period. In the second period, Tampa had 21 shots on goal including Mary St. Louis' snap shot at 18:47 of the second period.
Tampa had more jump in the third period when Richard Panik scored his second goal of the game at 4:23. Martin St. Louis then netted his second goal of the game at 8:17 of the third. Teddy Purcell scored to send the game into over time despite not getting the two points.
In other news, Lightning forward Nate Thompson had a scary incident in the second period. He took a shot off of his visor, cracking the entire shield. Thompson skated off bloodied and only played two shifts after that. He left the game and will be evaluated tomorrow per the team.
What's left of Nate Thompson's visor. Thank god he was wearing one. twitter.com/BBreseman/stat…— Brian Breseman (@BBreseman) April 13, 2013