Tampa Bay at Washington
When: 7:00 PM ET, Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Where: Verizon Center, Washington, District Of Columbia
The Tampa Bay Lightning look to change course when they visit a long-time former Southeast Division rival in the Washington Capitals on Tuesday. The injury-ravaged Lightning, now in the Atlantic Division, have won only three of their last 10 games and scored a total of four goals in the last four contests. The Capitals, who call the Metropolitan Division home, are going in the opposite direction with four victories in five contests and are powered by NHL goal-scoring leader Alex Ovechkin.
Tampa Bay is 5-5-2 since two-time Maurice Richard Trophy winner Steven Stamkos broke his leg and is expected to be without top defenseman Victor Hedman for a second straight game. “You can control how hard you are going, and that’s what we have to focus on right now,” captain Martin St. Louis told the Tampa Tribune. “We have to lead by example, stay upbeat.” The Capitals come in off a pair of three-goal victories in which they recorded nine tallies.TV:
7 p.m. ET, Sun Sports (Tampa Bay), CSN (Washington)ABOUT THE LIGHTNING (17-10-2):
Coach Jon Cooper said recently that they are going to start calling his team the Syracuse Lightning. Four players who started the season with Tampa Bay’s American Hockey League affiliate were in the lineup Saturday and several others are in their first full season in the NHL. Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat, who played most of last season in the AHL, join St. Louis on the top line while rookies Mark Barberio and Andrej Sustr have been fixtures on defense.ABOUT THE CAPITALS (16-12-2):
Two of the team's four recent victories came without a goal from Ovechkin, who has scored nine of his league-high 22 tallies on the power play and boasts 13 more than anyone on the club. Center Mikhail Grabovski has been a factor during Washington's upturn with six points in the last five games - giving him 25 for the season - to go along with a plus-4 rating. Disgruntled right wing Martin Erat asked for a trade last month and still is without a goal but has contributed three assists in the last four contests. OVERTIME
1. Capitals C Brooks Laich has begun skating but is not expected to play against the Lightning. He has missed the last five games with a groin injury.
2. Tampa Bay G Ben Bishop, who was rested Saturday, has stopped 157-of-162 shots in his last five contests.
3. The teams combined for 33 goals in four games last season, with Washington winning the last three.PREDICTION:
Lightning 2, Capitals 1
Stats and Records