Lightning strike with 3 goals in 2nd period to top Caps

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Two days after losing high-scoring center Ryan
Craig to an injury, the Tampa Bay Lightning showed that they still
have plenty of offensive threats.

Martin St. Louis and Nikita Alexeev scored 22 seconds apart
during a three-goal second period that carried the Lightning past
the Washington Capitals 6-4 on Saturday night.

"We've worked so hard, the guys have been squeezing the sticks
so much, that eventually goals were going to come out," said
goaltender Marc Denis.

Alexeev had two goals, and Vincent Lecavalier, Andreas Karlsson
and Brad Richards also scored for Tampa Bay, which has won three of
four. The six goals are the most scored by the Lightning this year.

Alexander Semin, Mike Green, Brian Sutherby and Alexander
Ovechkin scored for the Capitals, who had claimed points in five
straight games. Washington had been unbeaten (2-0-1) at home.

Playing their first game without Craig, the Lightning spread out
the offense. Craig, who had a team-high five goals, sustained a
sprained right knee in Thursday's game against Philadelphia and
will miss four weeks.

"I don't see who is out," Alexeev said. "I just go out there
and perform my best."

"(Craig) had a great start and we're going to miss him,"
Richards added. "But we also know that during that start, we
weren't firing on all cylinders. We have other players to step up.
Other players did step up tonight and we've got to fill that

Trailing 2-1 early in the second period, Tampa Bay took control
on goals by St. Louis and Alexeev.

St. Louis had his second goal of the season on a wraparound,
scoring at 3:10. Just 22 seconds later, Alexeev put the Lightning
up 3-2, whistling a wrist shot from center point past Olie Kolzig.

After failing on three consecutive power plays midway through
the second, Tampa Bay went ahead by two goals at 19:01, when
Karlsson tapped in the rebound of Dmitry Afanasenkov's shot.

Bad penalties and costly turnovers thwarted Washington from
establishing any offensive momentum in the middle period.

"We had too many turnovers and they're an offensive team with a
lot of firepower," Sutherby said. "We turned a few too many pucks
over and they were all over our net."

The Lightning took a 1-0 lead 5:51 into the game on a
short-handed goal by Lecavalier, who converted a long, lead pass
from Nolan Pratt. Semin tied it 48 seconds later bulling through
three defenders before pushing the puck into the goal.

At 16:07, Green surprised Tampa Bay goalie Marc Denis with a
knuckling drive from the top of the slot, giving the Capitals a 2-1

Midway through the third period, Alexeev scored his second goal,
tipping in Dan Boyle's shot, to make it 5-2.

Sutherby struck with 7:22 left, his first goal of the year, but
29 seconds later, Richards beat Washington's Ben Clymer to a loose
puck along the boards and restored Tampa Bay's three-goal lead.

Ovechkin converted on a power play at the left post with 3:57 to

Game notes
C Alexeev has points in five straight games, a career high.
... RW Boyd Gordon and D Bryan Muir were healthy scratches for the
Capitals. ... Semin, who has eight goals in seven games, is the
quickest Capital to score eight goals in team history.