- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 19, 2015

After falling behind by three goals, the Washington Capitals needed some help. They found it on their power play.

Alex Ovechkin and T.J. Oshie both finished with two goals and two assists, and Marcus Johansson got the tiebreaking goal with 5:44 left as the Capitals used three power-play goals to rally past the Tampa Bay Lightning, 5-3, on Friday night.

Washington has now won four consecutive games and their last seven at home. They fell behind, 3-0, midway through the second period but scored the game’s final five goals — including four in the third period — and the three extra-man goals proved crucial.

“The power play was fantastic today,” coach Barry Trotz said. “They got us a win.”

Washington finished 3-for-4 on the power play, finding numerous scoring chances.

Two of the third-period goals came in those situations as the Lightning could not stop the Capitals in the offensive zone or clear the puck.

“Their power play obviously picked us apart pretty good tonight,” Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos said. “We give them some life on the power play … and it’s just the same story in this building — the power play finds a way to beat us.”

The Capitals also stepped up their intensity in the third period. Washington played more physical in the final 20 minutes and took command after trailing, 3-1, heading into the final period.

“We talked about playing a little bit more heavy,” Oshie said. “For the most part, I think as a group we’re a little bit bigger than they are, and we felt they were winning a lot of puck battles on us. We talked about turning that around.”

Johansson’s goal was on the power play, and Ovechkin scored the team’s other two with the man advantage. Oshie added an empty-netter.

Nicklas Backstrom earned his 600th career point with an assist on Oshie’s final goal.

Johansson broke a 3-3 tie on his power-play goal from the right side after a pass from Oshie. Ovechkin also got an assist.

Alex Killorn, Andrej Sustr and Stamkos each scored as Tampa Bay jumped out to a 3-0 lead and knocked out Washington goalie Braden Holtby, who entered with a league-best 1.83 goals-against average.

Trotz pulled him after the third goal, at 9:04 of the second period, and replaced him with backup Philipp Grubauer, who stopped all seven shots he faced.

Stamkos’ goal was his first in 11 games. Sustr’s goal ended a 106-game drought.

Tampa Bay got on the scoreboard on its first shot when Killorn scored 8:18 into the game. The Lightning then got two goals just 2:10 apart in the second period.

Sustr scored with his short-side shot at 6:54 before Stamkos beat Holtby to end the goalie’s night.

The Washington rally started when Ovechkin got a power-play goal in the second period, and Oshie made it 3-2 on his goal at 7:54 of the third after Grubauer made a tough saves.

Ovechkin then tied it on his second power-play goal with 9:58 left.

This victory improved Eastern Conference-leading Washington to 23-6-2 and 46 points, both franchise records for the start of a season.

“I think that’s one of the strengths of this team,” Johansson said. “We never quit. It’s fun to get these wins.”

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