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Stamkos scores goals 57 and 58 as Lightning beat Capitals

Apr 2, 2012, 10:08 PM EST

TAMPA, FL - APRIL 2: Steven Stamkos #91 of the Tampa Bay Lightning battles for the puck against Jay Beagle #83 of the Washington Capitals during the second period at the St. Pete Times Forum on April 2, 2012 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images) Getty Images

There’s still hope for the Buffalo Sabres. At the start of the day, the eighth place Washington Capitals had a two-point lead over them and control of the tiebreaker with three games remaining in each team’s schedule. However, the Capitals squandered a chance to put in a nail in the coffin in their 4-2 loss to Tampa Bay Monday night.

After a scoreless first period, Alexander Semin netted his 20th goal of the season to give the Capitals a 1-0 lead. However, Tampa Bay’s Teddy Purcell and Victor Hedman struck back with goals just 25 seconds apart late in the second frame.

With less than five minutes left in the contest, Jason Chimera backhand a rebound past Lightning goaltender Dwayne Roloson to tie the game. It looked like the match would be decided in overtime and the Washington Capitals would get at least one critical point. Then Steven Stamkos stepped up.

Stamkos scored his 57th goal of the season at 18:57 of the third period and then helped himself to an empty netter with seconds left on the clock.

With three games left in the Lightning’s schedule, it’s entirely possible for Stamkos to become the first 60-goal scorer since Alex Ovechkin in 2007-08.

The Buffalo Sabres now have a chance to tie the Washington Capitals in terms of points with a victory over Toronto on Tuesday, but that won’t be good enough as the Capitals control the tiebreaker. The two teams aren’t scheduled to play against each other in the final days of the regular season, so Buffalo needs more help if they are to make the playoffs. Meanwhile, Washington can still guarantee itself a playoff spot by winning both of its final two games.

  1. scottfmullin - Apr 2, 2012 at 10:15 PM

    Panthers sitting pretty now. Magic number is 2 for them to win the SE, and they’ve got a home game against the Jets tomorrow to seal the deal.

    On a related note, the Caps looked much like we’ve seen all year, unmotivated and emotionally shallow. Only Chimera and Wideman and at times Ovechkin looked like they were operating at 110%. Green looked weak, too.

  2. phillyhatesyou - Apr 2, 2012 at 10:37 PM

    wow too bad the flyers couldnt find a way to get stamkos before the season started like many of the crazy rumors suggested. hope he gets 60

    • illadelphiasphinest - Apr 2, 2012 at 11:05 PM

      Exactly! Why not give him an offer sheet? Could you imagine a line with Stamkos, G, and Hartnell? I know both G and Stamkos are centers but im sure they could coexist being that G is more of an all around player with all of his assists, and Stamkos is a natural goal scorer. He only signed a tweo or three year deal with TB so maybe then the Flyers will pull the trigger on him. He will still only be what 25-26 yrs old then? The kid is a stud!

      • grudenthediva - Apr 3, 2012 at 1:06 AM

        Five years. Keep dreaming. Didn’t get him then, won’t get him later.

  3. blomfeld - Apr 2, 2012 at 11:09 PM

    OVECHKIN IS JUNK !

    God willing and a with a bit of luck, Ovechkin will soon be be golfing. This lazy, conceited, parasitic “what’s for dinner mom” leech makes me sick to my stomach and he’s a complete disgrace to all of the Russian greats who’ve preceded him !

    for those of you too young to know any better, here’s an example of “real” Russian hockey:

    • ravenscaps48 - Apr 2, 2012 at 11:48 PM

      Go off yourself

      • gbiscottagecheesefatties - Apr 3, 2012 at 12:52 AM

        just curious… why do you post the same thing each time and about Russian hockey and or Ovechkin… Do you think anyone really cares to see your spam?

  4. gbiscottagecheesefatties - Apr 3, 2012 at 12:53 AM

    3 Stamkos’s equal my Minnesota Wild. LOL. Kinda funny and sad at the same time

  5. hockeyflow33 - Apr 3, 2012 at 1:37 AM

    Nearly 40 goals in an off year and he’s junk? I don’t want to say you’re an idiot…..

    • jpelle82 - Apr 3, 2012 at 9:40 AM

      36 is not nearly 40 but 38 or 39 is close so lets see if he makes it there before we get ahead of ourselves. 36 other players have more points than ovechkin including guys named moulson, parenteau, lupul, and a defenseman named karlsson. for a guy making 10 mill a year, he is putting up junk numbers at least, but i wouldnt call him junk. this is the 2nd bad year for him in a row though so you cant really say its an off-year – especially since he has been healthy both years too

  6. bethgoesglobal - Apr 3, 2012 at 1:59 AM

    Would have loved to see the Caps get the win, BUT I think I’d rather see the Caps end the season in 8th place then 3rd. A repeat of last years series with the Rangers would be awesome! The question then would be: Is this Part 2: The Return or Part 2: The Revenge? Playing the Devils (who will likely be in 6th) just wouldn’t be as entertaining; it certainly wouldn’t have the same “drama”, per say.

  7. subliminalnoize - Apr 3, 2012 at 7:59 AM

    I wanna know how many of you actually watched last nights game? The caps played some of the best defense of all year, and as far as Green goes he got robbed by Rolli doing what sometimes happens when a vet goalie finds a grove in an important game. If there was any weak link on the team it was Mojo, because of instead of taking the gifted goal he had in the slot on the power play late in the game he dished it to Ovi, and by the time he was able to make the shot Rolli had reset. I hate all these fair weather fans who trash Green when he plays well and is jaded, and Neuvy when he spins on his head an catches a bad break.

    • jpelle82 - Apr 3, 2012 at 9:50 AM

      i watched the game, caps missed their chance to put it away in the 2nd period and roloson had a lot to do with that. they basically dominated and then let 2 goals in 25 seconds. then they deflated just like they have all year long. roloson robbed green and that was it for them, you could see the let down. i watch a lot of caps games living in northern va and when green isnt scoring it exposes his defensive inadequacies and they become harder to overlook. he has become a very average player very quickly. it would be different if he was shutting people down or throwing his weight around but he isnt and he doesnt so he deserves the grief he gets IMO.

  8. wingsdjy - Apr 3, 2012 at 9:16 AM

    That empty netter was impressive last night. Sliding on his knees along the boards, he finds the puck in the refs skates and flips it into the net. Casually saying he scored an empty netter just doesn’t do it justice.

  9. jumbossportsblog - Apr 3, 2012 at 9:24 AM

    Reblogged this on jumbossportsblog.

  10. sunking1 - Apr 3, 2012 at 10:06 AM

    it is a treat to be able to watch Stamkos every night. The guy is a force on the ice.
    Ovie used tobe that way but he seems to have lost some of his spirit over the years.
    Was it his big contract? Or was it the change in team playing style?
    Who knows, but he is not the same player he once was

  11. govtminion - Apr 3, 2012 at 10:24 AM

    The Caps looked off last night (again), but to give credit where it’s due… Roloson was on fire. He looked like last year’s playoff version of himself. The glove save on Mike Green was as good of a save as you’ll ever see, and he seemed to just be absorbing Ovechkin’s shots all night. Very well played game for him in what I expect is his final home game.

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