(SportsNetwork.com) – Alex Ovechkin will try to end the longest point drought
of his career against a familiar foe on Saturday night, when the Washington
Capitals visit the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Ovechkin has been held without a point in five straight games for the first
time in his career and it doesn’t come as much of a surprise that the Capitals
have lost three of their last four.
The 29-year-old had a game-high seven shots on net in Wednesday’s 4-2 loss to
the Detroit Red Wings, who scored three times in the third period to pull out
Evgeny Kuznetsov and Troy Brouwer provided the goals in Washington’s second
straight loss, while Braden Holtby made just 18 saves.
“I thought we were good up until midway through the second period, maybe even
to the end of the second period, but then we started taking a few chances,”
noted Brouwer. “Couple of needless turnovers. They’re really good with picking
Washington will hope that Ovechkin can continue his career-long success
against the Lightning, a former division rival. In 54 career games versus
Tampa Bay, Ovechkin has 35 goals and 71 points, with seven goals and two
assists in the most recent five meetings.
He has produced more points against only one team, posting 82 points in 55
career meetings with the Atlanta/Winnipeg franchise.
The Lightning got a two-goal effort from their dynamic scorer last time out,
with Steven Stamkos scoring twice and collecting an assist in Thursday’s 4-3
win over the Philadelphia Flyers.
Jason Garrison potted the deciding power-play tally, while Vladislav
Namestnikov also scored and Valtteri Filppula had three assists in his club’s
fourth victory in five games.
Ben Bishop aided the effort with 24 saves.
“We found a way to win,” Stamkos said. “Winning is contagious, so it’s nice to
get on a roll here.”
Tampa Bay will play the third contest of a four-game homestand.
The Capitals have a point in six straight meetings with the Lightning, winning
five in a row before a 1-0 shootout loss in the most recent meeting on April
13. They have won two straight in Tampa Bay.