Tampa, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Alex Ovechkin scored twice, and the Washington Capitals grabbed a 5-3 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday.
Matt Niskanen, Troy Brouwer and Brooks Laich also scored for the Capitals, who have won three straight. Braden Holtby made 33 saves in the win.
"You have to catch the teams ahead of you in the standings," said Brouwer. "Whenever you can gain ground with a win over a team ahead of you, you're doing things right."
Valtteri Filppula, Brian Boyle and Steven Stamkos each had a goal for the Lightning, who have lost three of their last four. Ben Bishop allowed four goals on 34 shots.
"Everybody goes through ups and downs in a season, but you don't want to lean on that," said Boyle. "If you start making excuses like that and you don't get angry about losing, if you accept losing you start to become a loser."
It took just 40 seconds for Washington to get on the board as Ovechkin was able to chip a shot in between the pads of Bishop from the low left side.
Tampa tied the game at 13:49 of the first when Victor Hedman's slap shot from the left point was redirected in by Boyle in front of the net.
The Capitals, though, took a 2-1 lead just 34 seconds later with a power-play marker off a one-timer from the top of the left circle by Niskanen.
Another quick goal to start the period, this one from Tampa Bay, tied the game as Stamkos' turnaround wrister from the slot found the top left corner 47 seconds in. It was his 250th career goal.
However, Washington once again took the lead four minutes later after Laich stuffed the loose puck in from the right side for his third of the year.
Filppula scored with 3.2 seconds to play, and it was just enough time for Ovechkin to put the puck into the empty net before the buzzer to account for the final score.
Washington hosts Columbus on Thursday ... Tampa Bay hosts Carolina on Thursday ... Tampa Bay defeated Washington, 4-3, at home on Nov. 1 ... Washington was 1-for-2 on the power play, while Tampa was 0-for-3 ... Hedman had three assists.