Beninati: Tuned out in Tampa

Beninati: Tuned out in Tampa
January 13, 2011, 5:16 am
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Thursday, January 13, 2011 12:20 am

By Joe Beninati
Capitals Play-by-Play

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Prior to the game today both teams gave the customary speeches about how important this Southeast division showdown would be.

Only one team would back up the rhetoric and they had the lightning bolts on their chest.

The Capitals are one of the five weakest scoring teams in the NHL in the first period, and they did nothing to help themselves this evening.

Once again it was an uphill battle early.

Tampa scored its first goal of the game less than four minutes into the contest.

Hard working center Dominic Moore chipped in a rebound from close range to give the local team all the offense they would need.

Semyon Varlamov and Dwayne Roloson waged an excellent goalie standoff eight days ago and both guys were up for duplicating that performance in this game.

If Varlamov wasn't sharp the Caps could have been down by a whole bunch.

He and Michal Neuvirth were the best of the group on this two game Florida trip with honorable mention to Marcus Johansson.

Washington didn't have any energy for a comeback tonight.

Once Sean Bergenheim batted a waste-high, mid-air rebound, into the net late in the first period -- the handwriting was on the wall.

Roloson finished with 23 saves to blank DC for the second time in eight days.The Lightning have warmed up to their new goalie quickly, and he sure looks like he'll keep Tampa in contention for the division title for the next three months.

When goals are hard to come by attention will be focused on the big guns.

At this moment Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin don't resemble the two performers who have dazzled opposing defenses the past few years.

They need to find a spark especially while Alex Semin is on the shelf injured. Once he returns, it behooves him to find his best game for the Caps to be able to play up to their full potential.

Stay tuned for what should be an excellent game on Friday with high flying Vancouver invading Verizon Center.