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Game 3: Tampa Bay Lightning at Washington Capitals

The Tampa Bay Lightning lost to the Washington Capitals in a shootout by a score of 6-5.

This was a very strange game. It was like a combination of the best and worst of the preseason and playoffs. It had all of the energy and excitement of a playoff game, but all of the sloppiness and lack of discipline of a preseason game. Not the kind of thing you see very often.

Team defense was non-existent, particularly in the first period. There’s just no other way to put it. It was a run-and-gun style of game, which remarkably suited both teams, but at the expense of a structured game. I had referred to it on the game thread as an afternoon drop-in game, while someone else referred to it as pond hockey.

The second period was marginally better defensively, but only because of the penalties. The Lightning decided to explore the wilds of penalty box at length. Five different players each took a penalty, and only one of them was one of the usual suspects – that being Ryan Malone.

Thankfully, the defense on the penalty kill for the Lightning is far better than their defense during even-strength situations. Otherwise, the Caps wouldn’t blown the game wide open at that point. Especially during that 5-on-3 five minutes into the second. The Lightning managed to not shoot themselves in the foot on that one, and killed it off without incident.

In the third period, both teams went back to a goal-scoring fest. Four goals were scored in the first, two in the second, four more in the third, and none in the five-minute overtime. It only took until Game 3 of the 2011-12 season to make it not only to overtime, but also into a shootout.

Though, the Caps did try to help the Lightning out by going to the box twice during OT, and unfortunately, nothing came of it. In the shootout, Alex Semin proved that he really did care, as his shootout goal won the game. What a time for him to start caring, huh?

Some interesting game stats: Adam Hall was 8 of 10 (80%) in the faceoff circle, while Vincent Lecavalier won 8 of 11 (73%); Steven Stamkos had only one shot on goal going into the overtime period, but ended the night with four shots; Eric Brewer had seven blocked shots and Brett Clark had five; Brewer also had six hits; Nate Thompson had the most shots on goal for all Lightning players with five; Dwayne Roloson had an 88.4% save percentage on the night; final shots for the game were 43-28 Capitals.

The next game is Thursday, 13 October, at the New York Islanders. Game time is 7 pm ET, and the Raw Charge game thread will open at 6:30 pm. Hope to see you then!

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