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Nicklas Backstrom would shine brightest tonight against the Lightning by recording his first career regular season hat trick on home ice in front of 18,000 adoring fans. Backstrom's third would be the one to win it for Washington as they run over the Atlantic Division leaders 4 to 2.
The Capitals entered tonight's contest after a disappointing overtime loss to the Blue Jackets. That loss snapped Washington's three game winning streak but tonight's win gives them 9 out of a possible 10 standings points.
Look for our full recap later, but first, Saturday night's Plus/Minus:
- Plus: Backstrom put the puck on net with regularity tonight and was rewarded for his efforts - despite Ben Bishop and his 6'7" frame. When the Capitals get offense from their top line forwards not named Alex Ovechkin this team's first line is lethal.
- Minus: Washington gave up two late goals and had all of Verizon Center holding their breath as Tampa Bay pressed with less than five minutes to play. Eric Fehr's empty net goal would relieve the pressure but Barry Trotz's club let their opponents back into the game far too easily.
And now, this...