WASHINGTON (AP) Victor Hedman scored the shootout winner and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Washington Capitals 2-1 on Saturday night.

The Lightning have now won three straight games to gain traction in the Atlantic Division race.

“Tonight was a huge win for us, obviously,” Lightning center Anthony Cirelli said. “We haven't been great on the road this year, so there was an emphasis to come out strong and play a full 60 minutes.”

Though Washington’s three-game winning streak came to an end, the Capitals secured a point for the fourth straight game.

“I like where we're at. ... We've shown some things, some ingredients of winning teams,” Washington coach Spencer Carbery said.

Tampa Bay got off to a quick start following a miscue behind the Capitals net, as Luke Glendening deflected a point shot from Hedman past Charlie Lindgren to make it 1-0 at 7:29 of the first period.

With the assist, Hedman extended his point streak to four games before securing the victory with a shootout goal.

“I felt confident,” Hedman said. “I haven't gone in a while so it was time, and I'm happy to contribute.”

The Capitals tied the game in similar fashion to open the second period, as Nick Jensen's shot from long range went off Anthony Mantha and made it past Andrei Vasilevskiy. It marked Mantha's 10th goal of this season and his fifth in eight games. He also has points in seven of his last nine outings overall. It took Mantha 59 games to hit double digits in goals last season.

“I came in this year with a mentality to jump back on the train, and it was a hard year last year. Was focused, was determined to step up this year and that's what's going on right now," he said.

Washington appeared to get another goal minutes later courtesy of Jensen, but it was called back after a coach's challenge for offside. Saturday marked the fourth straight game that Washington required extra time.

Vasilevskiy stopped 32 shots in regulation and went 2-for-3 in the shootout to help Tampa escape with two points.

“He was really good again tonight. ... You've got to support your goalie, and when we did break down there, Vas, he stood tall for us,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “We're going to need him, obviously, for the rest of the year, but it's nice to see him getting into a little of a rhythm right now.”

Lindgren had 19 saves in the loss.


Lightning: Host the defending Eastern Conference champion Florida Panthers on Wednesday in each team's first game following the Christmas break.

Capitals: Visit the Metropolitan Division-leading New York Rangers on Wednesday.


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