ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (Reuters) - The Washington Capitals finally found a way past goaltender Dwayne Roloson as they halted Tampa Bay's winning streak at six games with a 5-2 victory over the Lightning Friday.
Roloson had shut out Washington in their previous two meetings but Nicklas Backstrom scored 9:09 into the first period to give the Capitals their first goal against Tampa Bay in 134 minutes.
Backstrom scored twice and had two assists while his linemate Alex Ovechkin had a goal and three assists. Brooks Laich and Jason Chimera, into an empty net, scored the other goals for Washington.
"It felt a little bit like a playoff game," Backstrom said. "It was a big game for us, a big two points."
"Last two times we played these guys, we shut them out. We just shut out (Philadelphia), and there was absolutely no urgency in our game," said Lighting coach Guy Boucher.
"It's a lack of respect for the opponent. They (Washington) kept saying they had to play the game of their season, and they did. They deserved everything that happened to them tonight."
With the win, second-placed Washington cut the Lightning's lead in the Southeast Division to three points.
"This game was very important for both teams," Ovechkin said. "They're in first place, and we want to be in their spot."
(Reporting by Mike Mouat in Windsor, Ontario; editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes and Peter Rutherford)