T.J. Oshie departs Capitals’ 5-3 win over Lightning with non-contact injury

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Lightning Fall 5-3 to Capitals
(AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Rasmus Sandin snapped a tie with 4:59 left in the third period, and the Washington Capitals beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-3 for their third consecutive win on Thursday night.

Connor McMichael had two goals for the Capitals, including an empty-netter. Anthony Mantha and Nicolas Aube-Kubel also scored, and Tom Wilson had two assists.

Washington’s T.J. Oshie left with a non-contact injury in the third. The right wing went down to the ice after making a move near the offensive blue line. He crawled along the boards to the bench and needed assistance back to the locker room.

Capitals coach Spencer Carbery said there is a “fairly high” level of concern about Oshie’s injury.

“We’ll evaluate more tomorrow, but it’s never a good sign when you see a player leaving the ice like that,” Carbery said.

The Capitals (26-21-8) moved within five points of the Lightning (30-23-5) for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Tampa Bay was coming off a pair of alarming losses to defending Eastern Conference champion Florida and Ottawa, which is last in the Atlantic Division. The Lightning dropped one point behind Detroit for the first Eastern Conference wild card.

“Our guys competed hard,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “Did we do some dumb things, we did. Doesn’t take away the fact that they competed hard.”

Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 19 shots for Tampa Bay. Brandon Hagel, Nicholas Paul and Tyler Motte scored.

Hagel extended his point streak to 11 games, which is the longest active stretch in the NHL.

Charlie Lindgren made 29 saves for Washington.

Washington’s Alex Ovechkin was given an assist in a postgame scoring chance, extending his point streak to 10 games. He is the 12th player to record a double-digit run at age 38 or older, and the first since Martin St. Louis (10 games) in 2013-14.

Tampa Bay tied it at 3 when Paul and Motte scored 24 seconds apart early in the third. A potential go-ahead goal by Washington’s Dylan Strome less than 90 seconds later was disallowed for offsides after a video review.

“Even after giving up those two goals quickly, the composure on the bench, our next shifts after that, you could just tell it, it wasn’t a team that was rattled, and it wasn’t a team that was going to let a couple of bad scenarios determine our fate,” Carbery said.

Aube-Kubel, who was scratched the previous two games, and McMichael had first-period goals.

McMichael’s third goal in the last two games came after Wilson’s hard check on Tampa Bay’s Haydn Fleury into the boards behind the net. Fleury went to the locker room after the hit and did not return.

After Hagel scored midway through the second, Mantha made it 3-1 during a 3-on-1 rush just 2:58 later.

Nikita Kucherov, the NHL points leader, picked up an assist on Hagel’s goal for his 95th point.

Tampa Bay captain Steven Stamkos was minus-1 and is minus-24 overall. According to Hockey Reference, the Lightning captain started the game ranked tied for 852nd in plus-minus.

UP NEXT

Capitals: Ovechkin is set to become 41st player to play in 1,400 games Saturday night at Florida.

Lightning: Play at the New York Islanders on Saturday.

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