How it happened: The Capitals came out sharp to stall a streaking Tampa Bay Lightning team with three goals in the first two periods in their 4-2 win on Friday. Alex Ovechkin struck first in the opening frame with a power play goal, Jason Chimera pushed in another with a man-advantage in the second period and Marcus Johansson blew the game open with an even-strength goal just over a minute after that. T.J. Oshie then added another power play goal for good measure at the 5:16 mark in the third period. The Capitals provided Lightning's backup netminder Andrei Vasilevskiy with a long night, as he allowed four goals for the first time this season. The Capitals have scored four goals or more in three of their last four games.
What it means: The Capitals won their fourth straight game and moved to 16-5-1 on the season. They tied the New York Rangers in wins atop the Metropolitan division, but trail them in points 34 to 33. The Rangers lost to the Boston Bruins 4-3 on Friday afternoon. They have dropped two straight after winning 11 of their previous 12.
Ovi scores again: Ovechkin broke a scoreless tie at the 7:09 mark in the first period with his fourth goal in the last five games, this one a power play tally. Evgeny Kuznetsov found Ovechkin with a pass through the crease and Ovi put it top shelf over Vasilevskiy's left shoulder. It was Ovi's 487th career goal and his 12th in 21 games this season.
Kuznetsov continues to shine: Kuznetsov finished with multiple points for the third time in his last four games. He assisted Ovechkin's first period goal moments after starting the attack with a dump-in pass off the backwall to himself. He passed to Chimera, who returned it to Kuzy to set up Ovi's snapshot at the left circle. Kuznetsov then set Chimera up for a goal at the 18:57 mark in the second period. He found Chimmer at the doorstep to the right of Vasilevskiy for an easy score. Kuznetsov has eight points in his last four games and 11 in his last eight. He now has 26 points (8 goals, 18 assists) in 22 games this season. His 26 points put him at fourth in the NHL and his 18 assists rank sixth as of the final buzzer on Friday.
Carlson's big milestone night: Playing in his 400th consecutive game wasn't the only notable accomplishment for John Carlson in the Caps' win. He added two assists for the second straight game. It was his fourth multi-assist game this season and the 25th of his career. Carlson now has 17 points through 22 games overall in 2015-16.
Coming out strong: Ovechkin's first period goal gave the Capitals the advantage, but their early dominance went much further than that. They outshot the Lightning 18-9 through 20 minutes to set a season-high for SOG in a period and won 15 of 25 (60%) face-offs. The Capitals are now 10-1-0 in home games they score first and 6-0-0 in ones they led after the first period.
Look ahead: The Capitals waste no time moving on with a flight to Toronto on Friday night. They face the Maple Leafs (7-10-5, 19) at 7 p.m. on Saturday [CSN+]. That begins a three-game road trip through Canada with stops in Montreal and Winnipeg to follow. The Caps return home to face the Detroit Red Wings on Dec. 8.