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Capitals vs. Lightning Recap: Lightning Strikes Thrice for Oshie in 5-3 Caps Win

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The Caps’ last trip to Florida this regular season ended up being a little more exciting at the end than Caps fans might have wanted, but a win is a win.

NHL: Washington Capitals at Tampa Bay Lightning Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

A back-and-forth first period that saw the Capitals and the Tampa Bay Lightning splitting four goals gave way to a sleepy second period, but the Caps scored a pair in the second to restore a two-goal lead. They hung on late after a Lightning goal, and T.J. Oshie sealed the deal with an empty net hat trick goal and the 5-3 win.

Here's Saturday night's Plus/Minus:

Plus: Getting Andre Burakovsky back into the lineup. His fresh legs were evident in getting seven shots on goal and creating opportunities.

Minus: Hacking up a two-goal lead in the last five minutes of the first period. For a team that has had such an impressive positive goal-differential in the first period this season, that was difficult to watch.

Ten more notes on the game...

  • T.J. Oshie had his fifth multi-goal game of the season and first hat trick as a Capital. It was his first one on the road. The three goals made it 29 for the season for Oshie, a career best, the second time in two seasons with the Caps that Oshie set a career high in goals. With an assist, it was Oshie’s second four-point game this season.
  • Andre Burakovsky retured to the lineup. He was just about the liveliest Cap on the ice, setting a season high seven shots on goal. It was the third time in his career he recorded seven or more shots. Oddly enough, he does not have a goal in any of those three games.
  • It was another multi-assist, multi-point game for Nicklas Backstrom, his 13th multi-assist game and his 19th multi-point game of the season. It was his fourth game this season with three assists.
  • Marcus Johansson skated 2:52 in the first period before departing for what was described as “illness.”
  • Nicklas Backstrom…four assists. It was his first four-assist game of the season and the tenth of his career recording four or more assists. He now has 54 assists for the season, one behind Connor McDavid for the league lead. He also jumped over Evgeni Malkin into fifth place in scoring (75 points), four behind McDavid and Brad Marchand.
  • Alex Ovechkin had seven shots on goal and 15 shot attempts. He was not rewarded with a goal (he did have an assist), but it was the liveliest he looked in recent games.
  • John Carlson had his third goal on the road this season, his second road game in a row with a goal.
  • Braden Holtby allowed three goals for the 19th time this season. The Caps are 9-9-1 in those games.
  • Evgeny Kuznetsov had a very quiet game. In 16 minutes he had just one shot attempt (missed) and one blocked shot.
  • This was the 12th road game this season in which the Caps recorded 35 or more shots on goal (they had 35). They are 6-2-4 in those games.

And now, this...