Washington Capitals Lead Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 After Two Periods

Alan Zlotorzynski@@zlotsportsCorrespondent IIIFebruary 4, 2011

WASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 26:  Blair Jones #49 of the Tampa Bay Lightning battles for the puck with Nicklas Backstrom #19 of the Washington Capitals at the Verizon Center on November 26, 2010 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
Greg Fiume/Getty Images

So far, so good, Caps fans.

In what many in the Caps dressing room deemed their biggest game of the year, the Capitals have taken a 3-2 lead into the second intermission.

The Capitals have outplayed the Bolts in every phase of tonight's game to this point. The Capitals have out-shot the Lightning through two periods, 27-16. Washington has out-hustled Tampa all evening. The Caps have outplayed the Lightning in the corners and in front of the net.

Tampa Bay opened up the scoring just 3:21 into the first period as Teddy Purcell continued his hot streak for the Bolts. Purcell scored on a wrist shot from just inside the right faceoff circle. Capitals goalie Semyon Varlamov was not sharp on the shot as it beat him glove side.

Purcell notched his eighth point and fourth goal in his last three games. Dwayne Roloson’s shutout streak would end, as the Capitals would score the next three goals.

Nicklas Backstrom scored his second goal in 26 games and stopped Roloson’s shutout streak at 133 minutes. The goal originally credited to Alex Ovechkin tied the game at the 9:09 mark of the first period. The period would end tied with the caps out-shooting the Bolts, 11-5.

The Capitals would come out and continue to take the play to the Lightning and 6:38 into the second period Brooks Laich would also break out of a goal scoring drought. Laich's backhand into the top of the net would be just his 10th on the season and just his third in the past 20 games.

Alex Ovechkin would get credit for the Capitals third goal, his 20th of the season. The Capitals have been opportunistic on the power play tonight, as Ovechkin's marker occurred on the Caps third power play of the night. The goal was just Ovechkin’s third power play goal this season and the Caps 10th in their last 94 chances.

The Lightning would score a power play goal of their own with 40 seconds left in the second period. Teddy Purcell would once again factor in as Brett Clark deflected his shot in past Varlamov.

The game has been a physical contest with two first-period fights and 30 minutes in penalties called. The hitting continued in the second, but the penalty minutes did not.

The Capitals are 19-0-1 with a lead after two periods this season. Check back to see if they can make it 20.