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Preview: Capitals (49-26) at Lightning (54-23)
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Date: February 14, 2013 7:30 PM EDT

It took almost a month, but the Washington Capitals have finally won consecutive games.

The Tampa Bay Lightning would settle for one victory to end their rough stretch.

After recording a pair of victories over the other Florida team, the visiting Capitals try to end their recent struggles against the Lightning by handing them a sixth straight loss Thursday night.

Washington (4-8-1) doubled its win total and posted its first road victory by sweeping a home-and-home set with the Panthers. After Braden Holtby made 27 saves in a 5-0 home victory over the Panthers on Saturday, the Capitals overcame a two-goal third-period deficit to win 6-5 in overtime Tuesday.


"Every win is important," coach Adam Oates told the Capitals' official website. "To stay with it for 60 minutes is something we talk about all the time."

Troy Brouwer's winner was his third goal in two games while Mike Ribeiro added one with two assists to give him four goals and five assists in the last five. The Capitals, though, weren't completely satisfied as they allowed at least five goals for the fourth time and rank among the NHL's most generous teams with 46 given up overall.

"Obviously we'll take the two points," winger Eric Fehr told the Capitals' official website after recording a goal and assist Tuesday. "But we've got to find a way to keep pucks out of our net and just be a little bit stronger in our own zone.

"But obviously this is big for us, it's a momentum swing for us and we feel like we're back a little bit."

Washington hopes it can also turn it around against Tampa Bay (6-5-1), which has taken four of five meetings. Holtby made 28 saves but faced a barrage of shots - 26 in the final two periods - of a 6-3 season-opening loss to the Lightning on Jan. 19.

The Capitals have allowed 25 goals during an 0-5-1 road skid against Tampa Bay, including playoffs.

The Lightning, however, are mired in their longest slide since going 0-6-1 from Jan. 3-15, 2012. They earned their first point in five games by rallying with three third-period goals before losing 4-3 in a shootout to Montreal on Tuesday.

"You got to earn every night," forward Martin St. Louis told the Lightning's official website. "We didn't start earning it until the third and obviously we were able to grind a point out of it, so that's a positive."

The late offensive surge might provide some confidence for a Tampa Bay team that's totaled six goals in the previous four contests after scoring 37 while winning six of the first seven.

"With six minutes left we came back with three goals," coach Guy Boucher said. "We have to build on the positive and that's extremely positive."

Victor Hedman doubled his goal total with two Tuesday, but Steven Stamkos was held without a goal in his fourth straight game since scoring six in the previous five.

Stamkos has five goals and five assists in his last six games versus Washington. St. Louis scored two of his three this season and added an assist against the Capitals last month.

Washington's Alex Ovechkin has a goal in three straight contests after scoring two in the first 10, and is on a five-game point streak. However, he has no points in his last three at Tampa.

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