Lightning defeat Capitals in Cup Qualifiers round-robin

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Nikita Kucherov scored for the Tampa Bay Lightning in a 3-2 shootout win against the Washington Capitals in a round-robin game in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto on Monday.

Kucherov scored in the first period and also scored the shootout winner in the first round-robin game for each team. He snapped a wrist shot past Holtby’s glove in the third round for the winner. 

Brayden Point also scored in the shootout for the Lightning, who will also play the Boston Bruins (Wednesday) and the Philadelphia Flyers (Saturday) in Toronto, the Eastern Conference hub city, to determine seeding for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Andrei Vasilevskiy made 31 saves through overtime and made two saves on three shots in the shootout.

Richard Panik and Evgeny Kuznetsov scored for the Capitals, who will play the Flyers (Thursday) and the Bruins (Sunday) in the round-robin.

Braden Holtby made 26 saves through overtime before making one save on three shots in the shootout.

Defenseman John Carlson did not play for the Capitals. He had left a 3-2 exhibition win against the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday during the third period because of an injury.

The Lightning were without captain Steven Stamkos (lower-body injury).

Mitchell Stephens tipped a shot by Ryan McDonagh past Holtby to give the Lightning a 2-0 lead at 7:48 of the second period, but the Capitals tied the game with two goals in the final 2:36 of the second.

Vasilevskiy lost a deflected shot by Capitals defenseman Radko Gudas between his skates and Panik reached in and poked it over the goal line to make it 2-1 at 17:24, and then Kuznetsov pushed a loose puck under Vasilevskiy for a power-play goal at 19:32 to make it 2-2.

Kucherov gave the Lightning a 1-0 lead at 12:53 of the first period. Brayden Point and Barclay Goodrow forced Capitals forward Lars Eller to turn the puck over at center ice. Point carried it into the Washington zone and sent it Kucherov, and his shot from the left circle beat Holtby to the far side, over his glove.

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