The Washington Capitals (50-23-8-108) clinched the second seed in the Eastern Conference with at 4-2 victory over the woeful Tampa Bay Lightning last night.

The win also gives this team the franchise record for most points (108) and tied for most wins (50), matching the 1985-86 team. The Capitals face the Florida Panthers, elimiated from the playoffs last night, on Saturday with the chance to become the winningest team in regular season in the history of the franchise.

Washington will have a home-ice advantage until the conference finals and will face the yet-to-be-determined seventh seed in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. The New York Rangers and Montreal Canadiens are tied for the last two spots. Montreal hosts Pittsburgh Saturday night while the Rangers travel to Philadelphia on Sunday.

As for last night's affair, Brooks Laich had two goals and Mike Green added an empty net goal to go along with two assists to drop the injury-depleted Lightning. Dave Steckel chipped in with a goal as well.

Neither Alex (Ovechkin or Semin) registered a point and both saw a multiple-game scoring streak end. Ovechkin hasn't scored a goal in his last three games. He is now four points behind Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin for the scoring title. Malkin has played three more games than Ovechkin this season.

Goalie Jose Theodore allowed a goal on the first shot he faced, from Tampa rookie Steve Stamkos, but settled down and made 22 saves for the victory. For the season, Theodore is 32-16-9 with a 2.81 goals against average and .901 save percentage.

Former Cap Matt Pettinger scored the other Lightning goal. It was his first goal against his former team.

Defenseman Tom Poti sat last night to rest his injured groin. The team is being cautious with the veteran blueliner, an integral part of its defensive corps. Donald Brashear missed his 13th straight game with a knee sprain.

36.0 Steven Stamkos (22), Slap Shot. Assist: Konopka, St. Louis
09:19 Power Play - Brooks Laich (21), Backhand Shot. Assist: Backstrom, Green

05:37 Brooks Laich (22), Wrist Shot. Assist: Green, Nylander
06:08 Dave Steckel (8), Wrist Shot. Assist: Bradley, Aucoin

12:53 Matt Pettinger (7), Wrist Shot. Assist: Szczechura, Mihalik
19:55 Mike Green (31), Empty Net, Unassisted.

1. B. Laich - WAS (Goals: 2, Assists: 0)
2. S. Stamkos - TB (Goals: 1, Assists: 0)
3. M. Green - WAS (Goals: 1, Assists: 2)