Backstrom Hat Trick Dooms Tampa Bay Lightning


Dec 13, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Capitals goalie

Braden Holtby

(70) makes a save on Tampa Bay Lightning right wing

Ryan Callahan

(24) in the second period at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Niklas Backstrom scored his first regular-season hat trick as the Washington Capitals beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-2 Saturday night at the Verizon Center.

After a scoreless opening period, Backstrom scored twice in the second to give the Caps (14-10-5) a 2-0 lead after 40 minutes.

The Swede completed the hatty 2:17 into the third after taking an Alexander Ovechkin pass from the slot and sliding the puck past Lightning goalie Ben Bishop.

The Bolts (19-9-3) bit into the Caps lead late as Tyler Johnson, and then Matt Carle, scored in an 1:53 period to cut the lead to 3-2 with 2:31 to play.

However, Eric Fehr would put the game to bed when he added an empty netter at 19:21.

The game could have taken a different form though as Steven Stamkos had given the Lightning a 1-0 lead in the first period but the goal was harshly waved off for goalie interference by Ryan Callahan, despite Braden Holtby being well out of position.

Holtby made 26 saves while Bishop stopped 24 shots.

Both sides went 0-for-4 with the man advantage. Ondrej Palat missed his second straight game with a lower body injury while Radko Gudas also sat out due to a stomach virus.

The Bolts continue their five-game road trip with a visit to Pittsburgh to face the Penguins Monday.