WASHINGTON (AP) – Rookie Alexander Ovechkin forced overtime by scoring with 1:15 left, then got the only goal in a shootout to rally the Washington Capitals past the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3 Tuesday night.

The Capitals trailed by two goals with 11 minutes left and 3-2 late in regulation until Ovechkin took a lead pass from Jeff Halpern and skated into the Tampa Bay zone against two defensemen. He cut to his left and, despite being pressured by Cory Sarich, pushed a backhander past Sean Burke to tie it.

The goal ruined an otherwise excellent performance by the 38-year-old Burke, who finished with 37 saves in a rare start.

Washington goaltender Brent Johnson, playing in place of injured Olaf Kolzig, had 32 saves and was perfect in the shootout.

After Johnson began the shootout by stopping Vincent Lecavalier with a kick save, Ovechkin scored on a rising wrist shot.

Vaclav Prospal then had his shot blocked by Johnson’s left leg. Brian Willsie then misfired for the Capitals, but Johnson clinched the victory by poking away the puck from Pavel Kubina on Tampa Bay’s final attempt.

It was the second time this season the Capitals and Lightning played to a shootout. Washington won the first one, 3-2.

Ovechkin, who was held without a point until his late surge, now has 14 goals and 19 points in 18 games.

Ben Clymer and Bryan Muir also scored for the Capitals, who ended a four-game skid.

Fredrik Modin had two goals for the Lightning, Rusian Fedotenko got his fourth of the season and Prospal had an assist to extend his point-scoring streak to 11 games.

Rusian Fedotenko also scored for the Lightning, who have lost five straight on the road and seven of eight overall.

Tampa Bay scored twice in a 1:36 span to take a 2-0 lead in the second period. After Modin deflected a shot by Kubina past Johnson’s left shoulder, Prospal charged the net under pressure and got the puck to Fedotenko, who flipped a backhander into the net.

Burke stopped the first 17 shots he faced until Clymer slammed in the rebound of a try by Halpern with 1:51 left in the period.

Modin’s second goal, his ninth of the season, made it 3-1 with 13:31 left in regulation. The goal came on the rebound of a shot by Brad Richards, who earned his 15th assist.

Muir scored a power-play goal to bring Washington to 3-2 with 10:51 to go.

Notes: The Lightning dropped to 1-1 without star winger Martin St. Louis, who’s out two to four weeks with a fractured finger. … Kolzig could return Thursday vs Buffalo. The Capitals also scratched RW Dainus Zubrus (groin). … Kubina played in his 475th game with Tampa Bay, tying Rob Zamuner for second place on the career list.

AP-ES-11-15-05 2207EST


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