National Hockey League
Tampa Bay 3, Washington 2
When: 4:00 PM ET, Monday, August 3, 2020
Where: Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, Ontario
Referees: Eric Furlatt, Trevor Hanson
Linesmen: Matt MacPherson, Derek Nansen
Attendance: 0

Nikita Kucherov scored in regulation and added the winner in the shootout as the Tampa Bay Lightning skated to a 3-2 victory over the Washington Capitals on Monday in the Eastern Conference round-robin tournament at Toronto.

The reigning Hart Trophy recipient recorded the game-winning tally by sending the puck off the right post and into the net in the third round of the shootout.

Brayden Point also scored in the shootout for Tampa Bay (1-0-0, two points), while T.J. Oshie potted the lone shootout goal for Washington (0-0-1, one point).

The contest, which was an extremely physical affair, was the teams' first in the round-robin tournament. The results of each of the four club's three contests will be used to determine seeding in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Rookie Mitchell Stephens also found the net for the Lightning, who beat the Capitals for the first time in four tries this season.

Reigning Vezina Trophy winner Andrei Vasilevskiy, who is nominated for the top goalie award for the third straight season, stopped 31 of 33 shots -- including a breakaway by Jakub Vrana in overtime.

Lightning captain Steven Stamkos (lower body) did not practice with the team Sunday and was out of the lineup.

Washington's Richard Panik and Evgeny Kuznetsov each scored late in the second period, and netminder Braden Holtby made 26 saves.

The 2017-18 Stanley Cup champions played without star defenseman John Carlson. The Norris Trophy finalist was injured going into the end boards in an exhibition win over Carolina on Wednesday.

The NHL's second-highest points producer since the 2017-18 season opened, Kucherov scored in the first period when he accepted a feed from Point and used a quick inside-out move through the left circle and rifled home the game's first goal at 12:53.

The sharp-shooting right winger has notched 313 points over the last three seasons. Only Edmonton Oilers superstar captain Connor McDavid (321) has scored more in that span.

A hard-hitting second period by both clubs paid dividends for Tampa Bay at 7:48 when Stephens battled in front of Holtby and chipped in a loose puck for his first career playoff goal.

The Capitals came alive offensively and tied it in the final three minutes of the frame. Panik and Kuznetsov cashed in by shoving in pucks near Vasilevskiy at the goal line 2:08 apart to even the match at 2.

Tampa Bay will face the Atlantic Division rival Boston Bruins (0-1-0, zero points) on Wednesday. Washington will play the Metropolitan Division rival Philadelphia Flyers (1-0-0, two points) on Thursday.

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
Washington   Tampa Bay
Evgeny Kuznetsov 1 Points Nikita Kucherov 1
Evgeny Kuznetsov 1 Goals Nikita Kucherov 1
Nicklas Backstrom 1 Assists Pat Maroon 1
Evgeny Kuznetsov 1 Power Play Goals N/A
N/A Short Handed Goals N/A
Braden Holtby .929 Save Percentage Andrei Vasilevskiy .939
Braden Holtby 26 Saves Andrei Vasilevskiy 31
Team Stats Summary
Team Shots Goals Power Play Penalty Kill Penalty Mins Face Offs Won
Washington 33 2 1-4 0-0 11 26
Tampa Bay 28 3 0-0 3-4 19 28
Upcoming Games
  • Tampa Bay will play their next game on the road against Boston. The Lightning have a W/L % of .605 after a win and .630 after a loss.
  • Washington will play their next game on the road against Philadelphia. The Capitals have a W/L % of .571 after a win and .630 after a loss.