Game 12 recap: Lightning win third straight, edge Capitals 4-3

The Tampa Bay Lightning come out on top in a chippy, back and forth contest, beating the Washington Capitals 4-3 for their third consecutive win and their fourth in the last five games.

The Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Washington Capitals by a score of 4-3 in front of 19,119 at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Saturday night.

Ryan Callahan is back, Alex Killorn may be out and Radko Gudas is now wearing a wire cage as a facemask. That's the preliminary personnel update following another entertaining, back-and-forth one-goal win that required surviving a furious rally at the end.

Callahan announced his return in style, opening the scoring at 6:06 of the first, getting an assist from Brian Boyle.

"Yeah, he's a big part of this team and when he's out we have a big hole. He comes back and makes an impact right away. He just plays a complete game for a full sixty minutes, so it's definitely nice to have him back." - Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop

"Yeah it's good to get that. You know, kind of early in the year coming back from injury, just to calm me down. It was a big goal for me." - Callahan

Gudas got into a fight with Tom Wilson at 10:13, resultant from Bishop being upended by Washington's Eric Fehr. Gudas was cut and went to the locker room for attention. He returned later in the period and came out for the second period wearing the modified helmet with the wire facemask.

Washington tied the game at 12:59 on a goal from Marcus Johansson, getting help from Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov. The assist broke a career-high five-game scoreless streak for Ovechkin.

The score was tied going into the first intermission.

Washington took the lead early in the second with Fehr scoring on assists from Jason Chimera and John Carlson at 2:11.

Tampa Bay came back to tie it at 9:29, thanks to Ondrej Palat scoring on assists by Nikita Kucherov and Tyler Johnson.

Just under three minutes later, Kucherov gave the Bolts back the lead, deflecting a shot from Eric Brewer. Johnson picked up the secondary assist.

Late in the period, the Capitals tied the game again when Troy Brouwer scored on the power play at 19:01, getting helpers from Johansson and Nicklas Backstrom.

As a result, the score was tied at three after two periods.

KIllorn did not return for the third period, out with an "upper body injury". No further information was available after the game but it's safe to guess that he'll be evaluated tomorrow and a slightly more detailed status will emerge.

With another callback to Thursday's win over the Flyers, Jason Garrison scored the Lightning's fourth goal of the game, and eventual game winner. this time at 2:27 with an assist from Steven Stamkos.

The Lightning have now won three games in a row, four of their last five and five of their last seven.

"It's good, especially at home. You've got to win at home and that's something we want to make a habit of, just hard to play against in your building. It's a big three wins." - Callahan

The current four-game homestand concludes on Thursday when the Lightning host the Calgary Flames.

Game notes:

  • One is still a singular sensation: All three of the games between these two teams last season were decided by a single goal, with both teams going 1-1-1 against each other.
  • The Lightning hadn't beaten the Capitals at home since January 19, 2013.
  • Brouwer's power play goal in the second period was only the second one given up at home this season by the Lightning.
  • Tyler Johnson is currently tied (with Philadelphia's Jakub Voracek) for the NHL lead in assists with 13.
  • The Lightning honored Freddie Brinson as the seventh Lightning Community Hero of the year during the first period of tonight's game. Brinson, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to both Camelot Community Care and The Sylvia Thomas Center. Brinson's selfless dedication and compassion for children in the foster system has translated to a notable, positive impact on the lives of hundreds of foster children and their adoptive families. She is an adoptive mother who has served in answering the Hillsborough County adoption inquiry line for the past twelve years where she continues to help find adoptive families for waiting foster children. Tonight's Lightning Community Hero began her journey as a servant to those in the foster care system in 1990, when she found herself without a job and was encouraged by a friend to look into a position with the Department of Children and Families. Brinson eventually became a Foster Care Manager for the former One Church One Child program. There she fell in love with the children and found her life's calling. In 2002, she assumed the role of Adoption Recruitment Specialist with Camelot Community Care, which is the role she currently holds. Brinson has previously been awarded with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Children's Board Heart Gallery of Tampa Bay./