The Capitals and Lightning battled for first place in the Southeast Division on Tuesday. Just about halfway through the season and both teams had 51 points and compare well to each other in prominent statistical categories. After Tuesday is there any doubt that Tampa Bay and Washington will battle for the division all the way down to the last week of the regular season?
It was Tampa that would triumph on Tuesday, taking home a 1-0 victory on a Martin St. Louis goal 2:54 into overtime at Verizon Center. The teams played a scoreless three periods, matching each other surge for surge, penalty for penalty, shot for shot. It was not playoff hockey but it was as close to the feel of postseason play that opponents can get in the first week of January.
“Half way through the game you could tell that it was one of those games that might be going to overtime,” St. Louis said. “The whole game both teams had their surges. Both goalies were tremendous and we needed extra time and we just, you know, got a bounce and made something with it.”