After Ward’s in-close goal 8:25 into the game, coming on the Capitals’ third straight power play, Lecavalier put the Lightning ahead 2-1 just 44 seconds later.
Capitals defenseman Tom Poti played in an NHL game for the first time since Jan. 12, 2011, and had an assist. Poti has battled physical issues, including a lingering groin injury, over the last two years.
Washington star Alex Ovechkin was held without a point. He took all four of his shots in the first.
Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos, who had a league-best 60 goals last season, picked up two assists. Teddy Purcell had three assists.
“We emphasized that we wanted to start the year quick in a shortened season, and we were able to do that,” Stamkos said.