The Washington Capitals got a much-needed win over the division rival Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday, but it wasn’t because of a strong effort from stars like Mike Ribeiro, Nicklas Backstrom or Alex Ovechkin. The team overcame a ho-hum performance in net from Braden Holtby thanks to scoring from some of their role players – Eric Fehr, Troy Brouwer and Jay Beagle.
Fehr scored his second and third goals of this season in what was easily his best effort of the 2013 season so far. Brouwer extended his team-lead in goals and now has seven on the season as he continues to be a great addition in Washington. Beagle’s goal was his first of the season but proved to be the game-winner. Mathieu Perreault had three assists for the Capitals and continues to show improvement in his second full season. Holtby made 27 saves in getting his fourth win of the season, but almost saw the game slip away. With Washington holding a 4-1 lead, goals by Teddy Purcell and Nate Thompson four minutes apart almost put the Lightning back in the game. Give Washington’s defense credit for buckling down to preserve the win and bailing their goaltender out of that jam.
With Ovechkin a non-factor for what seemed like the 20th time this season, secondary scoring from players like Fehr was a huge boost for this team. The star players are only playing like stars every other night or so, and if this Washington team wants to contend it will need continued scoring from third and fourth-liners the rest of the season. The Capitals power play converted on their only chance, another positive sign moving forward.