After so much anticipation, the 2013 NHL season started on the wrong foot for the Washington Capitals. The Caps, who are hoping to make a long playoff run this season, were defeated 6-3 on the road by their Southeast Conference rival, the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Things started going bad for the Capitals right from the start. Eric Brewer got the Lightning on the board just six minutes into the game. Though Washington forward Joel Ward answered with a goal of his own just two minutes later, the Caps found themselves playing catch-up the entire game.
Careless penalties and missed opportunities on the power play led to Washington's demise.
Tampa Bay had seven power-play chances, scoring three times. Veteran Martin St. Louis had a pair of power-play goals.
When the Lightning did make a mistake, Washington was unable to take advantage, going just one out of four on the man advantage.
Braden Holtby, who impressed everyone with his performance for the Capitals in last year's playoffs, was pressured all night and was a victim of a very porous defense. There were several instances where the Caps could have cleared the puck from their zone but failed to do so.
He faced 34 shots and stopped 28 of them for a mediocre .844 save percentage.
Though the scoreboard showed an unfavorable outcome, it wasn't all bad for the team from our nation's capital. Washington received a solid performance from Joel Ward, who had five shots and two goals.
The newest members of the Capitals also provided encouraging performances. Mike Ribeiro had an assist and Wojtek Wolski added a goal for his new team.
Superstar Alex Ovechkin was held off the scoresheet and only registered four shots in 23:35 of ice time.
The Capitals will look to turn it around on Tuesday night when they host the Winnipeg Jets at Verizon Center.