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Capitals Zap Lightning in SO, Extend Lead in Southeast – SportsUntapped.com
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Added March 8th, 2011 by Chalk

Capitals Zap Lightning in SO, Extend Lead in Southeast
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With huge contributions from superstar Alexander Ovechkin and third-string goalie Braden Holtby, the visiting Washington Capitals extended their Southeast Division lead with a 2-1 shootout win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Ovechkin assisted on Alexander Semin’s game-tying goal with 5:32 remaining in regulation, then scored the only goal in the shootout.

Holtby hadn’t played in 11 games, but was pressed into emergency duty to start the second period after starting goalie Michal Neuvirth took a slapshot to the face that bent the cage of his mask on the first shot of the game. Neuvirth played the rest of the first period, and is said to be fine, but Holtby was sent in as a precaution. “Michal’s fine,” said Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau. “The shot — part of the metal on his mask went into his eye and he couldn’t get it out. He got it out and he was fine after that and he’s going to be OK.”

Here’s video of the head shot:

With the Capitals trailing 1-0 after the first, Holtby was perfect in his 45 minutes and then stopped all three of Lightning shootout attempts. Pretty impressive for a kid playing in only his ninth career NHL game.

The win was the fifth straight for the Capitals, who now have a two-point lead over the Lightning in the Southeast. The Lightning have lost a season-high four straight. Tampa’s Steven Stamkos leads the NHL in goals with 41, but has scored only one in the past 12 games.

 
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