(SportsNetwork.com) - A pair of former divisional foes will meet for the first
time this season, as the Washington Capitals welcome the Tampa Bay Lightning
for Tuesday's clash at Verizon Center.
The Capitals and Lightning used to battle for Southeast Division supremacy,
but the onset of realignment this season broke up the now-defunct division.
Washington is now a member of the Metropolitan Division, while the Bolts are
in the Atlantic.
The Eastern Conference foes will meet three times this season, beginning with
tonight's encounter in D.C. Washington claimed the final three of four
meetings in last season's series and the Caps have won five straight and 16 of
the past 19 matchups in the nation's capital.
Washington enters Tuesday's clash with wins in two straight and four of its
last five games. The Caps won tilts on back-to-back days over the weekend,
notching a 5-2 win over visiting Nashville on Saturday before posting a 4-1
road victory the following night against the New York Rangers.
Philipp Grubauer made 30 saves for his first NHL win in Sunday's decision
against the Rangers. Grubauer, who was making his second NHL start and fourth
appearance, had seven saves in the first period, 10 in the second and closed
out Washington's win at Madison Square Garden with 13 stops in the third.
The German rookie was working on a shutout until Benoit Pouliot deflected
Michael Del Zotto's shot from the high left side for New York's only goal with
1:53 remaining in the game. The play was reviewed because Pouliot's stick was
up, but it was upheld as a goal.
"I've got to give those guys in front of me a lot of credit," Grubauer said.
"I feel like (the Rangers) didn't have many chances right in front of the net.
They kept them pretty much to the outside, which was great for me."
Jason Chimera, Steve Oleksy. Mikhail Grabovski and Eric Fehr scored for the
Capitals, with Grabovski's goal coming on a penalty shot.
The Lightning have lost three of their last four games and were dealt a 2-1
overtime loss by Winnipeg in their most recent game on Saturday.
Tampa's lone goal on Saturday came with two seconds left in the second period,
as Nate Thompson scored off a faceoff to tie the game at 1-1. The next goal
was a game-winning tally by Mark Scheifele, who beat Lightning goaltender
Anders Lindback from in close just 64 seconds into overtime.
Moments before Scheifele's decisive tally, Tampa's Alex Killorn hit the post
on a breakaway.
"There was a clear distinction between the first 30 minutes and the last 30
minutes," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said after Saturday's loss. "In the last
30 minutes we got everybody involved, we were shooting pucks from everywhere
and we had ample chances to win in regulation and one chance in overtime and
Beginning with Tuesday's tilt in D.C., the Lightning are playing four of their
next five games on the road. Tampa is just 6-7-1 as the guest this season
compared to an 11-3-1 mark at home.
Ben Bishop expects to get the start in net for Tampa tonight and is 0-2-0 with
a 4.41 goals against average in three career games against the Capitals.
Braden Holtby is 3-1-0 with a 3.69 GAA in four lifetime outings against the
Lightning and is in line to get the start for Washington on Tuesday.
The Sports Network