Instant analysis of the Capitals’ 4-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning Sunday night at Verizon Center:
How it happened: Alex Ovechkin, John Carlson and Joel Ward scored second-period goals, leading the Caps back from a pair of one-goal deficits. Ovechkin finished it with an empty-netter with 4.4 seconds left.
What it means: The Capitals have won four in a row and are 8-1-1 in their past 10 games. They moved two points ahead of the idle Winnipeg Jets and have sole possession of first place in the Southeast Division for the first time since the start of last season under Bruce Boudreau. The Caps still have one game in hand on the Jets.
Ovechkin’s on fire: With all due respect to Alicia Keys, she might have to change her lyrics. Ovechkin picked up another two goals, giving him 16 in the past 14 games. Ovechkin has 16 goals and 7 assists for 22 points in his last 14 games. The Caps are 10-3-1 in those games.
Joel Ward hat trick: Ward set up a goal by John Carlson, scored a go-ahead goal with a bull rush down the left wing and blocked a bomb by Tampa defenseman Sami Salo 10 minutes into the third period to keep the Caps ahead by a goal.
Baby surprise: Jack Hillen became a father for a second time Saturday night when his wife gave birth to a 7-pound, 1 ounce son named Knox Jack. Hillen was informed of the birth after playing in the Caps’ 4-3 win in Sunrise, Fla.
Impressing Maria: Alex Ovechkin’s fiancée Maria Kirlenko was in the stands watching her future husband match the NHL goal scoring lead. Ovechkin’s 24th and 25th goals moved him into a tie with Tampa’s Steven Stamkos.
Nasty Neuvy: Making his first start since March 16, Michal Neuvirth was sensation in the third period, stopping shots by Brett Connelly and Marty St. Louis to preserve the win.
What’s ahead: The Caps will be given the day off on Monday, then hit the road for a game in Montreal Tuesday night. After that the Caps play six of their final eight games at home.