Eric Fehr scores the game winner late in the 3rd period
Instant analysis of the Capitals’ 4-3 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning Thursday night at the Tampa Bay Times Forum:
How it happened: Eric Fehr scored his second goal of the game with 52 seconds remaining in regulation, tipping in a Mike Green point shot, to give the Caps the victory and end their four-game losing streak.
What it means: The Caps’ first win of the new year improves their record to 21-16-6 for 48 points, moving them back into the third and final playoff spot in the Metropolitan Division, one point ahead of the Carolina Hurricanes and New York Rangers.
Other offense: Mikhail Grabovski and Marcus Johansson also scored for the Capitals, each coming on the power play, to give the Caps a 3-1 lead. The Caps managed just 20 shots on Tampa netminder Anders Lindback.
Greener pastures: Mike Green assisted on both of Fehr’s goals and now has two goals and two assists in his last two games.
Another W for Grubi: Rookie goalie Philipp Grubauer turned aside 33 of 36 shots to improve his record to 6-2-3. It will be interesting to see if Adam Oates goes back to Grubauer on Friday night when the Caps face the Toronto Maple Leafs at VerizonCenter.
Rookie treatment: Defenseman Connor Carrick returned to the Caps’ lineup for the first time since Oct. 7 and logged just under 13 minutes. He blocked two shots, recorded one hit and finished a minus-1 alongside veteran John Erskine.
Volpatti check: Aaron Volpatti played a team-low 5:37 in place of Marty Erat, who was a healthy scratch. Rookie Tom Wilson played 6:23.
Look ahead: The Capitals will face the Maple Leafs Friday night at 7 p.m. at Verizon Center, then take on the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday at home at 3 p.m.