National Hockey League
Preview
Tampa Bay at Washington
When: 3:00 PM ET, Sunday, April 13, 2014
Where: Verizon Center, Washington, District Of Columbia

Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper joked after his team’s victory on Friday that he did his postgame speech in the trainer’s room. It’s uncertain who will be healthy enough to go for the Lightning when they end the regular season at the Washington Capitals on Sunday afternoon. With four other key performers already sitting out with injuries or illness, top defenseman Victor Hedman and Calder Trophy candidate Ondrej Palat were hurt in Friday’s contest.

The Lightning have won three straight, but will need a victory to take home-ice advantage in their first-round playoff series against Montreal. The Capitals have beaten Tampa Bay on five straight occasions - including a pair this season - but will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2006-07. Washington has won four in a row after a 0-3-2 stretch that virtually sealed its fate and captain Alex Ovechkin looks to add to his league-leading 51 goals.

TV: 3 p.m. ET; FSN Florida (Tampa Bay), CSN Washington

ABOUT THE LIGHTNING (45-27-9): Forward Ryan Malone was arrested early Saturday morning on charges of cocaine possession and driving under the influence and did not travel with the team. The Lightning sat out center Valtteri Filppula (lower body) and defenseman Sami Salo (upper body) against Columbus on Friday. Tampa Bay showed its goaltending depth with two solid performances by backup Anders Lindback and an impressive career debut from Kristers Gudlevskis on Friday with Ben Bishop (upper body) out indefinitely.

ABOUT THE CAPITALS (38-30-13): Defense is the biggest reason Washington won’t play past Sunday, even though it has allowed only six goals in the last four games. The Capitals lead the league in power-play goals (68) and have been outscored 163-147 at even strength, standing in the bottom third of the league in goals-against (23rd) and shots-against (27th). Ovechkin has seven points in his last five games to go over 50 goals for the fifth time in his career, but he is third from the bottom in the league with a minus-35 rating.

OVERTIME

1. Lightning D Eric Brewer has three goals in the last two games after scoring once in the first 74 contests this season.

2. Washington RW Joel Ward is one shy of his first career 50-point season and has at least one in his last four games.

3. Tampa Bay C Tyler Johnson and Palat are the first pair of rookies on the same team to score 20 goals since Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews of Chicago in 2007-08.

PREDICTION: Lightning 5, Capitals 4
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div
Tampa Bay 45-27-3-6 W3 25-10-1-5 20-17-2-1 6-4-1-0 39-23-2-6 19-8-0-3
Washington 38-30-3-10 W4 21-13-3-3 17-17-0-7 6-1-1-2 32-29-2-8 ---
Last Meeting
Tampa Bay Washington
Date Away Home Shots Saves PP Shots Saves PP
1/9/14 WAS 4 TB 3 36 16 0-1 20 33 2-3
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Total Points Player  
Tampa Bay O. Palat 2
Washington E. Fehr 2
Goals Player  
Tampa Bay B. Crombeen 1
Washington E. Fehr 2
Assists Player  
Tampa Bay M. Carle 1
Washington M. Green 2
Saves Player  
Tampa Bay A. Lindback 16
Washington P. Grubauer 33
Season
Total Points Player  
Tampa Bay V. Filppula 61
Washington A. Ovechkin 84
Goals Player  
Tampa Bay S. Stamkos 29
Washington A. Ovechkin 55
Assists Player  
Tampa Bay V. Hedman 45
Washington N. Backstrom 62
Saves Player  
Tampa Bay B. Bishop 1690
Washington B. Holtby 1413
Quickchart Matchup
Tampa Bay Off vs  Washington Def
2.86 GF
2.83 GA
29.8 Shots
33.6 Shots
50 PP
51 PK
Washington Off vs  Tampa Bay Def
2.78 GF
2.58 GA
29.6 Shots
29.4 Shots
68 PP
52 PK