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Capitals win three in a row; ‘Walls closing in’ on Lightning

Feb 15, 2013, 12:09 AM EDT

Capitals Getty Images

Don’t look now, but the Washington Capitals are officially on a winning streak.

The Capitals captured their third straight victory, despite nearly blowing a three-goal third period lead and barely hanging on to defeat their Southeast Division rivals, the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3 Thursday.

Alex Ovechkin, who had goals in his last three games prior to Thursday, was held off the score sheet and was a minus-two.

Jay Beagle scored his first of the season and what turned out to be the winner.

Still, Capitals head coach Adam Oates was critical of how his team worked to a three-goal lead just prior to the midway point of the third period and then nearly coughed it up after the Lightning scored twice to narrow Washington’s lead to just a goal.

“You obviously have to use it as a learning curve,” Oates told

“We obviously did a lot of good things to make it 4-1 and made a mistake to make it 4-2. We didn’t protect the puck as we should have on their end and we gave a guy a breakaway, which we shouldn’t have.”

Meanwhile, the Lightning have lost six in a row and have only one point courtesy a shootout loss in those six games.

“It’s devastating,” Marty St. Louis told the Tampa Bay Times. “It’s like there’s no air in the room right now. The walls are closing in.”

  1. 19to77 - Feb 15, 2013 at 12:40 AM

    Hey, Tampa, you still need an actual first-string goalie. Lindback’s numbers suck.

    • dustinstauffer - Feb 15, 2013 at 8:27 AM

      Garon was in net, but of size difference there. Might have noticed if you watched the game. Goaltending isn’t why they are losing. Terrible passing, turn overs, bad PP, subpar pk, linky showing up at the end of games. Guys still given ice time when they play poorly, etc. Big thing is team play is horrid right now, only good thing from lady night was when he had two rookies paired with pyatt. Sure lindback has had a few soft goals, but the team inn front of him is playing God awful hockey.

      • dustinstauffer - Feb 15, 2013 at 8:28 AM

        “last night”

      • jrillah10 - Feb 15, 2013 at 9:23 AM

        Agreed. Brewer was horrible last night. I hate criticizing players, especially when I’m just a fan, but they were awful on the back check last night. I give Washington credit, they capitalized on every mistake. And Holtby was ridiculous. He made some great saves. Hopefully Tampa can get this turned around. I would be more concerned if the scheme was working. They have had a ton on scoring chances, they’re just not lighting the lamp.

    • smithkey - Feb 15, 2013 at 2:20 PM

      if you actually watch the games you will know that Lindback is the least of our worries right now.

  2. dcfan4life - Feb 15, 2013 at 1:10 AM

    Well, id like to be positive, since 3 wins in a row means something. But 2 against Florida and 1 against the sliding Lightning still just dont ooze confidence. I think its clear though this is the weakest division in the NHL and that does sure help the Capitals chances.

    • jpelle82 - Feb 15, 2013 at 12:00 PM

      i’d like to retract some of my criticism though i dont see the caps out of the woods yet. i said fehr was a bum and joked that mcphee brought him back in the first place after wasting a 1st round pick on him years ago – he has been the best guy on the ice the last 3 games. i also downplayed the play of perreault and said he is too inconsistent after the 5-0 florida win. while its only 3 games, he has been good in all 3. kudos to those 2 stepping up.

  3. obnoxiousDCfan - Feb 15, 2013 at 7:10 AM

    I don’t care what teams they played, they’ve looked Much better in the last few games then they did a few weeks ago.I’m hoping this is the Oats system coming together.

    • ironyisadeadscene - Feb 15, 2013 at 7:32 AM

      I agree. Confidence in the system and teammates helps.

  4. hockeywithdrawal - Feb 15, 2013 at 7:56 AM

    No offense to Caps fans…I counted 4,238 cross-checks from Carlson last night…they only blew the whistle on one.

    • dcsportsfancv - Feb 15, 2013 at 8:27 AM

      so i guess you didn’t see the high stick robiero took to the face? calls were missed on both sides, so find another excuse.

      • hockeywithdrawal - Feb 15, 2013 at 9:01 AM

        Calls are always missed here and there – there’s a difference between a missed call and refs refusing to call a clear penalty when they see it over and over. No offense, I’m not a Tampa fan and Carlson is one of my favorite defenders, but that sh*t’s a penalty for a reason. Most defenders do it, but not as hard as those guys were (Staal does it that hard too for NYR…the refs have GOT to call that).

    • kantnockdahustle89 - Feb 15, 2013 at 9:04 AM

      Carlson did have quite a few but Vinny also was nailing people in front of the net. Not a lot of complaining went on so lets just chalk it up to a real mans hockey game.

      • hockeywithdrawal - Feb 15, 2013 at 9:19 AM

        A great hockey game it was, too.

  5. bcjim - Feb 15, 2013 at 9:29 AM

    Entertaining. Lot of back and forth. TB had a couple of cheap ones to get back in it. Their goalie actually played ok, Caps put a ton of shots on him.

    I like the fact the Caps are trying to get goals by lobbing knuckleballs toward the net and hoping for a bounce or rebound in their favor. Blasting slap shots off dmen, or your own, men rarely works and is often a chance going the other way.

  6. valoisvipers - Feb 15, 2013 at 9:33 AM

    Well if you look at the teams they played before the losing streak, compare that to the teams the played during the losing streak, you would understand. The Bolts are winning against who they should beat and losing to the better teams.

    • gotstamkos - Feb 15, 2013 at 9:54 AM

      then why didn’t we stomp the Habs and the Caps???

  7. capsfan19 - Feb 15, 2013 at 9:51 AM

    Bolts are strange. They’ll lay back like theyre dead, and then jump up and just attack like crazy!
    I would hate to see “gee” boucher in the locker room pissed.
    But yes finally a win streak :). And honestly ovi may have had a minus 2 but he was playin some insane offense

    • smithkey - Feb 15, 2013 at 2:24 PM

      insane offense? all he did was cherry pick and hog the puck as usual

  8. gotstamkos - Feb 15, 2013 at 9:53 AM

    OK I’m officially concerned! Where THE HELL did the effort go???? Fighting back in the 3rd DOES NOT constitute hard hustle. We were out worked, out played, out hustled, out out out…. i hurt! side note: please shoot the skate sharpener – why were we falling all over the ice (was I hallucinating or am I right)?? Lastly, and this hurts more, Flyer fan – you were right! Matt Carle SUCKS!!!!!! passing sucks, checking sucks, *HUSTLE sucks (see Fehr’s goal to make it 2-1!). We should bring up everyone from the Crunch – all of them are busting their asses when called up. I don’t know why but our D isn’t good again, even though that was supposed to be fixed (except Hedman – mark it down: he will be at the top of D in the league very soon).
    This sucks!

    • phillyphanatic77 - Feb 15, 2013 at 10:48 AM

      Ah so the honeymoon is over? It was only a matter of time before Carle started turning it over in his own zone. There’s no question he has offensive skills but he is just consistently inconsistent on the other end. He put up points for the Flyers but he probably provided just as many for opposing teams. I still wish we re-signed him (we need a defender with passing skills) but Tampa overpaid by a lot. 6 years for $33 million is beyond excessive. Yzerman will be regretting that deal in 2-3 years when it’s untradeable and Carle is consistently helping other teams beat the Lightning.

      • boltsfan777 - Feb 15, 2013 at 12:18 PM

        Carle has skills but he’s just playing like many other Bolts…lethargic. That was a pathetic attempt last night when he casually skated to get the puck behind their goal, only to lose it and consequently give up a goal. They’re making bantam/midget mistakes, like last night I noticed something the same time Chief noticed it. They had a 3 man odd-man rush and they’re skating in a straight line left to right toward the goal. How many passing options do you have in that scenario?

  9. rainyday56 - Feb 15, 2013 at 10:56 AM

    Ya baby! My premonitions are coming true! Blues are crap, Hitch’ll be fired for sure. Bolts are crap, Hitch’ll be hired for sure. First order of business: turn Stamkos into a 20 goal per year checking forward. Hey he did it with Brett Hull. I’m lovin’ it!

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