TAMPA, Fla. | At first glance it looked like offside. Vinny Lecavalier couldn’t keep his skate on the blue line as he was tangled up with John Carlson.
Roman Hamrlik blew a tire at the wrong time, and Marty St. Louis skated in all alone and beat Tomas Vokoun five-hole. It was a big goal for the Tampa Bay Lightning and one that Washington Capitals coach Dale Hunter wished he had back after a 4-3 overtime loss Tuesday night.
“It’s one of those things where everybody makes mistakes on that ice or on the bench, too. I do too,” Hunter said. “Mistakes were made and the video can pick it up.”
Video evidence showed offside at best and interference on Lecavalier at worst. But Hunter wasn’t trying to make this defeat about the officiating.
“It’s gone now,” he said.
Enforcer Joel Rechlicz was signed Monday and called up to be a deterrent. He did that job, as there were no fights or cheap hits Tuesday night by the Lightning.
Never mind that Rechlicz skated just two shifts for 1:49, his coach had good things to say about the 24-year-old.
“He was a presence out there,” Hunter said. “There was no nonsense; we all played hockey.”
Other adventures in minimal ice time includes Joel Ward with 7:37, John Erskine with 7:42 and Cody Eakin with 6:13.
Vokoun made two big-time saves to keep the Caps in Tuesday night’s game. His breakaway stop on Steven Stamkos 2:33 into the third was the first.
“The one on Stamkos, I think, early in the third, that was a big momentum change for us,” winger Troy Brouwer said. “Anytime that we can get a timely save like that and a huge save like that, especially on a player like Stamkos, it really gives the guys a boost.”
Enough of a boost to go tie the score and force overtime. In OT, Vokoun robbed Lecavalier with perhaps the save of the year. Soon after, Stamkos scored on a rebound.
“[Vokoun] played his heart out tonight; he played real well,” Brouwer said. “But unfortunately we couldn’t get him a second point.”