WASHINGTON– Sonny Milano scored two goals and an assist for the Washington Capitals in Friday’s 5-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning at Capital One Arena.
Anton Manta had a goal and an assist, and Darcy Kumper made 28 saves for the Capitals (7-7-2), who ended their homestand 2-2-0.
“I thought our level of competition was really good tonight. From ‘Kuemps’ everyone was selected,” said Washington’s assistant Kevin McCarthy, who served as head coach with Peter Laviolette on the NHL-COVID-19 protocol. “We played a smart game. If you do these things well, you have a good chance of winning games.”
Video: [email protected]: Kuemper stops Kucherov’s attempts at number 1
John Carlson had an assist for his 600th NHL point, becoming the first defenseman in Capitals history to reach that milestone. He played a game-high 26-12 after missing six games with a lower-body injury.
Nick Perbix scored, and Andrei Vasilyevsky made 19 saves for the Lightning (7-6-1), who lost three out of four (1-2-1).
Tampa Bay was 0-for-3 on the power play, including a five-minute chance.
“We’ve been struggling with the power play a bit lately (1-10 last three games) and again we get a five-minute major there and we can’t score and they come out of boxing and scoring,” said Lightning captain Steven Stamkos, “These are turning points in games and when things are going well you take those opportunities and when you’re stuck you try not to snow it.”
The teams play again Sunday at Amalie Arena in Tampa.
Mantha gave the Capitals a 1-0 lead with 10:32 of the first period. Lars Eller ran behind the Lightning net into the left faceoff circle, spun and passed through the slot to Mantha, who struck from the right post.
Video: [email protected]: Milano scores a breakaway for a 2-0 lead
Milano made it 2-0 when he left the box, controlled a Carlson pass and defeated Vasilevskiy with a breakaway at 7:03 in the second period to score his first goal for Washington.
“It was just kind of reactionary,” Carlson said. “It worked out well, the puck went over my stick and I turned in that direction and gave it a little extra juice just in case it comes out of the zone, at first because I was tired but it worked out perfectly. He made a great move and here we go.”
Milano had served a five-minute match penalty Nicolas Aube Kubelwho was ejected for an illegal check to the Head of Lightning defender Cal Footewho left the game.
“Not great,” Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said when asked about Foote. “He obviously couldn’t come back. That’s a hard blow. That defines the word blindside. It’s a pity we’re going to play them again [Sunday] because i doubt [Foote] will be there to watch the game.”
Aliaksei Protas increased the lead to 3-0 when he tapped in the rebound Nick Jensenshot at 2:25 p.m.
Conor Sheary received a pass from Mantha and defeated Vasilevskiy from the slot in a rush to make it 4-0 at 4:53 of the third period.
Perbix cut to 4-1 when he hit with a one-timer from the top of the left circle at 12:09.
“Of course we want to get back on the track,” Lightning defended Victor Hedman said. “You mustn’t be frustrated, that’s the bottom line. We believe in ourselves but it will be good to get these guys back.”
Milano, who signed with the Capitals on October 16, made it 5-1 on his attempt at a pass Yevgeny Kuznetsov distracted at 17:45 in Stamkos.
“It was pretty smooth,” Milano said of his move to Washington. “Everyone has taken care of me, and obviously a great group of executives and older guys who I definitely look up to.”
REMARKS: Tampa Bay defender Eric Cernak and Mikhail Sergachev Each left the game late in the third after blocking one Alex Ovechkin Shot. Cooper didn’t have an update. … flash forward Nikita Kutscherow had ended his 11-game scoring streak (six goals, 14 assists). He went without a point for the second time this season (on Oct. 14 at the Columbus Blue Jackets). … Tampa Bay forward Brayden point had ended his five-game points streak (two goals, seven assists). … Carlson moved past Michal Pivonka to earn the fifth-highest points in Capitals history; He has 134 goals and 466 assists in 897 games over 14 seasons, all with Washington.
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