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Capitals look to keep cruising against Lightning

Tampa Bay (10-16-10) at Washington (24-11-3), 7:00 p.m. EST

WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- The Tampa Bay Lightning will be faced

with the unenviable task of trying to slow down the Washington

Capitals when the Southeast Division rivals square off Thursday.

Washington has won nine of 10 games and ascending to the top of

the division, in addition to taking over sole possession of

second place in the Eastern Conference with 51 points.

Though superstar Alex Ovechkin was kept off the scoresheet, the

Capitals claimed their most recent triumph on Tuesday with a 4-2

victory over Buffalo.

Ovechkin, third in the NHL in scoring with 49 points, has

registered 18 points over the club's last 13 games.

Brooks Laich did manage to find the net in the victory over the

Sabres - the sixth time in nine games he has done so - and

rookie Chris Bourque, the son of Hall of Fame defenseman Ray

Bourque, notched his first NHL goal.

The Lightning continued to muddle their way through the season

on Tuesday, suffering a 2-1 shootout loss to the Montreal

Canadiens.

It marked the 34th time in 36 games this season that Tampa Bay

has scored three or fewer goals.

The Capitals won the first meeting of season between the clubs

on November 10, opening up a 3-0 first-period lead en route to a

4-2 victory.

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