© St. Petersburg Times, published April 10, 2003
Oct. 25: LIGHTNING 3, Capitals 2
WHAT HAPPENED: In the first period Tampa Bay outshot Washington 16-9 and got goals from Chris Dingman and Dave Andreychuk. That mirrored the Lightning's hot start to the season. This win concluded a 5-0-2 start.
BY THE NUMBERS: Defenseman Dan Boyle got an assist for a 10th consecutive game, dating to the 2001-02 season.
HE SAID IT: "We've managed to turn games around after being down a couple of goals. I said before the game, 'Let's see if we can get the lead and play with it for a change,' and that's what we did." -- Left wing Fredrik Modin on the quick start. Tampa Bay rallied for points in five of its first six games.
WHAT HAPPENED: Washington capitalized on a two-man advantage thanks to Peter Bondra's goal with 1:12 left. The Capitals had a 14-2 shot advantage in the third.
BY THE NUMBERS: Noted Lightning killer Bondra struck again for his 38th goal in 45 career games against Tampa Bay. He went on to score twice more in the season series.
HE SAID IT: "I just held the jersey for two seconds. I didn't think that should be called in a tie game. ... I guess you can't touch guys like (Jaromir) Jagr." -- Lightning defenseman Pavel Kubina, who disagreed with a holding penalty with 1:31 left and his team already a man down.
WHAT HAPPENED: Washington's Olaf Kolzig made 40 saves and the Capitals scored once in each period.
BY THE NUMBERS: The loss capped an 0-2-2 streak for the Lightning in which it had 132 shots but only four goals. Tampa Bay broke out of the mini-slump the following game, a 5-2 win over Boston.
HE SAID IT: "We're creating chances. We're just not able to finish. And when you're not able to finish in this league, the mistakes you make on defense show up." -- Lightning coach John Tortorella.
WHAT HAPPENED: Jaromir Jagr had his 11th career hat trick and 500th goal for Washington, which scored four times in the second period to open a 5-0 lead. Tampa Bay fell five points behind Washington in the Southeast Division.
BY THE NUMBERS: In the second, Nikolai Khabibulin replaced John Grahame (four goals on 11 shots). That was a turning point: Khabibulin took his starting job back and had one regulation loss in the following 19 games.
HE SAID IT: "(The Capitals) wanted it more than us, and that's something that as a team we can't afford to have happen. ... We didn't look like we wanted to be in the playoffs tonight." -- Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk.
WHAT HAPPENED: Boyle scored on a five-on-three power play 2:03 into the third for the tying goal. Later in the period he assisted on Modin's winner. Tampa Bay, which had fallen out of the top eight in the East, got back in for good. BY THE NUMBERS: Three top Capitals forwards -- Bondra, Robert Lang and Michael Nylander -- were held to one shot each. Tampa Bay held a 30-15 shot advantage, the fewest shots it allowed all season.
HE SAID IT: "It's two points against our division leader and that pretty much says it all. Hopefully, it's the start of something good." -- Modin, who proved to be prophetic; the Caps came in six points ahead of the Lightning but never led by that much again.