Washington Capitals celebrate Alex Ovechkin's goal.
Lightning 2 - Capitals 4
Olie Kolzig ended up being the losing goaltender in Monday night's game versus his old team, the Washington Capitals. It was the first time he had faced his former teammates, since joining the Tampa Bay Lightning after last season.
The first half of the game must have seemed very familiar to Olie. His new team's defense apparently forgot how to play. They looked like the inexperienced lot he had helping him a couple seasons ago, when the Capitals played many games in a similarly horrible way. Within the first 16:24 of the game, Washington scored three goals. Bad line changes left him defenseless, and being screened by his own teammates also made it impossible for Kolzig to make saves on those first period strikes by Tom Poti, Mike Green and Eric Fehr.
About eleven or twelve minutes into the second period, the Lightning's play started to improve. With Washington's David Steckel in the penalty box for interference, Tampa Bay's Gary Roberts put a backhand shot past netminder Brent Johnson for a power play goal at 16:30. Johnson was as sharp as ever throughout this game, but there was a lot of traffic in front of him at the time.
Olie Kolzig in first game versus Washington Capitals.
The tempo picked up in the third period, adding some excitement to the match. At 15:54, Alex Ovechkin stopped his longest ever goalless streak at nine games. The Lightning had just finished a line change, and they left Ovechkin wide open. Ovie tipped in an Alexander Semin pass while waiting on the goal's doorstep. The Lightning finally showed some good puck possession while on the PP within the last couple minutes of the game, and Roberts got his second goal with about 27.4 seconds left. It was too little, too late for the Lightning.
Although he did get an assist on Ovechkin's goal, it was strange not to see a goal from Semin. He's been putting the puck in the net so often this season. Each of the four goals by the Capitals was by a different player. The win leaves Washington tied with the Carolina Hurricanes for first place in the Southeast Division of the NHL.
November 10, 2008 Photos by Haraz N. Ghanbari / AP