Series (Game 1 of 6)

Washington leads 4-2

Game 1: Thursday, November 11th
Game 2: Friday, November 26th
Game 3: Tuesday, January 4th
Game 4: Wednesday, January 12th
Game 5: Friday, February 4th
Game 6: Monday, March 7th

Lightning 3

(8-5-2, 18 pts)

Capitals 6

(12-4-0, 24 pts)

Coverage: NHL

7:00 PM ET, November 11, 2010

Verizon Center, Washington, District of Columbia

1 2 3 T
TB 1 0 23
WSH 0 2 46

A. Semin (Capitals - RW): Goals: 3, Assists: 2

N. Backstrom (Capitals - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 4

S. Stamkos (Lightning - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

Lightning-Capitals Preview


Steven Stamkos and Alex Ovechkin may be in a battle for the NHL scoring lead come season's end. Right now, their teams are competing to be among the best in the Eastern Conference.

The Tampa Bay Lightning visit the Washington Capitals on Thursday night in a matchup of the top two teams in the Southeast Division.

Stamkos scored two goals in Tampa Bay's 4-0 home victory against Toronto on Tuesday night, increasing his NHL-leading totals to 13 goals and 24 points.

"Things are just going my way right now," Stamkos said. "It feels really nice to help this team win. I'm just going to keep shooting the puck and going to the net."

The win ended a three-game losing streak for the Lightning (8-4-2), who were coming of a 1-2-1 road trip. Dan Ellis made 23 saves in his second shutout of the season, improving to 4-2-2 with a 2.11 goals-against average.

"When you come back from a long road trip, a lot of guys are tired, but I thought we dug deep and showed a lot of character," Ellis told the team's official website.

Stamkos has scored eight goals on the road, but he said winning at home is vital to the team's success.

"That is why it's so important to win these home games, because it is so tough to win on the road in this league," Stamkos said. "This was a big win for us and really helped us get our confidence back."

Tampa Bay won't get much time to savor its home-ice advantage. After facing the Capitals, the Lightning visit Pittsburgh on Friday night and then play three of their next four on the road.

Washington has won four straight at home and is 7-1-0 at the Verizon Center, where Ovechkin has scored five of his eight goals.

Ovechkin, who has 20 points, looked to his supporting cast Tuesday in a 5-3 come-from-behind road victory against the New York Rangers. He assisted on one of two goals from Brooks Laich and Mike Knuble's second-period score. Matt Hendricks added a goal and an assist.

"It's really important when different guys score," Ovechkin said. "They deserve to score goals. They work hard, they play great, and they make good plays."

Washington (11-4-0) was behind 2-1 entering the second period but battled back to win its fifth straight.

"We were behind, but I thought we played pretty well in the first period," coach Bruce Boudreau said. "Sometimes a team is beating you 2-1 or 1-0 and you think there is no way we're going to come back, but I thought there was a good vibe on the bench."

Ovechkin and Stamkos -- both taken with the No. 1 overall pick -- have faced each other 12 times over the past two seasons with Washington winning 10 times. Ovechkin has registered 10 goals and 23 points, while Stamkos has seven goals and two assists.