Caps edge Lightning 6-3

Tonight’s game against the Lightning was almost all I expected it to be. The stars for both teams showed up and the Caps got the upper hand with the help of a hat trick from Alexander Semin. Unfortunately, this was another game where they surrendered the first goal and got off to kind of a “cold” start but they picked it up and were able to hang onto win the game this time. It wasn’t the best night defensively with us surrendering 41 shots but Neuvirth was good when it he needed to be and the Stamkos line was quiet (until the third period). It’s definitely a win to feel good about.

Thoughts:
– I was actually more impressed with the Malone, Bergenheim, Purcell line from Tampa Bay since they were generating the most chances early on and cashed in on one. Definitely seen better games from Carlson and Alzner, who were covering them.

– As I said earlier, Stamkos, St Louis and Lecavalier were kept quiet for the most part until the third period, then they exploded but thankfully, they could only generate two goals, which wasn’t enough. One of them came on the powerplay where Ryan Malone was left wide open. Neuvirth had no chance.

– Speaking of Neuvirth, he is producing a lot more rebounds than he did in October and he’s giving up a lot more goals because of it. You can blame the defensemen for not clearing them but he’s simply giving up way too many.

– Alex Semin has been an absolute machine the last couple of weeks. 3 goals and 2 assists tonight. Not only that but he’s backchecking, drawing penalties and killing them as well. His second goal tonight was was perfect, same goes for how he set up Ovechkin on his goal.

– Just when I was ready to say that Brooks Laich and Mike Knuble would never work together on the same line, they score a goal that gave the Caps the lead. It was more than a broken play anything but sometimes that’s all you need, especially if you’re Mike Knuble.

– Reffing could have been better…and I’m not just saying that because Washington only had one powerplay, the refs just seemed to miss a lot of calls. I hate the instigator rule but Adam Hall should have had one issued to him when he went after Bradley to respond to his CLEAN (albeit huge) hit on Mike Lundin.

– The fact that #DanEllisProblems was a trending topic after this game was hilarious.

– I hope that Boyd Gordon is okay since he left the game and didn’t return. He might be only a third liner but his contributions to the team have been key to their success. It’s good that Marcus Johansson is back again.

Great game from the Caps despite being outshot 41-26. Tampa Bay is going to give us a hard time all year and I’m expecting a lot of games like this with a lot of scoring but a little more rough housing. I’m also expecting Tampa to be tougher the next few games because they were playing without Steve Downier and Lecavalier missed some time tonight, as well. This is growing to be a great rivalry.

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