Tampa Bay Lightning zap Capitals 5-4

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Wednesday night’s game was the second time the Caps have faced the Bolts in March, with one game remaining against them on March 30. The Lightning pulled off a win in the first meeting last Saturday, and bested the Caps again Wednesday 5-4, their second win in five days over the Caps.

Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman (77), of Sweden, scores in overtime against against Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby (70) during an NHL hockey game Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Washington. The Lightning won 5-4. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman (77), of Sweden, scores in overtime against against Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby (70) during an NHL hockey game Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Washington. The Lightning won 5-4. (AP Photo/Nick Wass) (AP/Nick Wass)
Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy, of Russia, stops the puck during the third period of the team's NHL hockey game against the Washington Capitals, Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Washington. The Lightning won 5-4 in overtime. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy, of Russia, stops the puck during the third period of the team’s NHL hockey game against the Washington Capitals, Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Washington. The Lightning won 5-4 in overtime. (AP Photo/Nick Wass) (AP/Nick Wass)
Washington Capitals center Lars Eller (20), of Denmark, celebrates his goal with left wing Carl Hagelin (62) as Tampa Bay Lightning center Anthony Cirelli (71) skates by during the first period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Washington Capitals center Lars Eller (20), of Denmark, celebrates his goal with left wing Carl Hagelin (62) as Tampa Bay Lightning center Anthony Cirelli (71) skates by during the first period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass) (AP/Nick Wass)
Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8), of Russia, reacts during the first period of the team's NHL hockey game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8), of Russia, reacts during the first period of the team’s NHL hockey game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass) (AP/Nick Wass)
Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Ondrej Palat (18), of the Czech Republic, skates with the puck against Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson (74) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Ondrej Palat (18), of the Czech Republic, skates with the puck against Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson (74) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass) (AP/Nick Wass)
Washington Capitals left wing Jakub Vrana (13), of the Czech Republic, works for the puck against Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Ondrej Palat (18), of the Czech Republic, during the second period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Washington Capitals left wing Jakub Vrana (13), of the Czech Republic, works for the puck against Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Ondrej Palat (18), of the Czech Republic, during the second period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass) (AP/Nick Wass)
Tampa Bay Lightning center Anthony Cirelli (71) shoots next to Washington Capitals defenseman Michal Kempny (6), of the Czech Republic, during the first period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Tampa Bay Lightning center Anthony Cirelli (71) shoots next to Washington Capitals defenseman Michal Kempny (6), of the Czech Republic, during the first period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass) (AP/Nick Wass)
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Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman (77), of Sweden, scores in overtime against against Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby (70) during an NHL hockey game Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Washington. The Lightning won 5-4. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy, of Russia, stops the puck during the third period of the team's NHL hockey game against the Washington Capitals, Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Washington. The Lightning won 5-4 in overtime. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Washington Capitals center Lars Eller (20), of Denmark, celebrates his goal with left wing Carl Hagelin (62) as Tampa Bay Lightning center Anthony Cirelli (71) skates by during the first period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8), of Russia, reacts during the first period of the team's NHL hockey game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Ondrej Palat (18), of the Czech Republic, skates with the puck against Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson (74) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Washington Capitals left wing Jakub Vrana (13), of the Czech Republic, works for the puck against Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Ondrej Palat (18), of the Czech Republic, during the second period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Tampa Bay Lightning center Anthony Cirelli (71) shoots next to Washington Capitals defenseman Michal Kempny (6), of the Czech Republic, during the first period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Five minutes into the first period, Braden Holtby stymied Anthony Cirelli on a breakaway, keeping the Lightning off scoreboard. The Caps responded when Lars Eller beat Andrei Vasilevskiy glove side off an Alex Killorn turnover at the blue line for his 12th goal of the season. It’s the first time Eller has opened the scoring for the Capitals this season.

The lead did not hold. Tom Wilson took a holding penalty at the end of the first period, and on the ensuing power play in the second period, Nikita Kucherov ripped a wrist shot past Holtby for his 36th goal of the season.

Steven Stamkos capitalized on another power play after Alex Ovechkin was sent to the box for elbowing Ryan McDonagh. Stamkos’ goal is his franchise-leading 385th. Cirelli got revenge after his failed breakaway attempt, and threw the puck to the front of the net where it deflected off John Carlson’s skate.

The Caps clawed back on another Tampa Bay turnover, and Eller sent a pass to Carl Hagelin to beat Vasilevskiy back door. The goal was Hagelin’s third with the Caps since he was traded from the Los Angeles Kings at the trade deadline.

T.J. Oshie tied the game at three off an Ovechkin slap-pass rebound. The goal marked Oshie’s 200th point with the Capitals.

The tie was short lived, as Kucherov pulled the Lightning ahead again on the power play. Soon after Michal Kempny left the ice after an awkward hit with a lower-body injury and did not return.

The Caps tied the game with under a minute remaining when Evgeny Kuznetsov slung a shot from a desperate angle through Vasilevskiy, but Victor Hedman sealed the win for the Lightning in overtime with a deke to the backhand.

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This article was written by WTOP’s news partner, NBC Sports Washington. Sign up for NBC Sports Washington’s free email subscription today.

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