Capitals draw first blood with Game 1 win over Lightning

May 12 09:43 2018

Firstly, Tampa Bay has a better offence than Washington outscoring them 296-259 in the regular season while maintaining similar defensive numbers. Their opponent, Winnipeg, has three rookies, but only one has logged regular playing time – left wing Kyle Connor broke out with two goals and an assist in Game 5 of the second round against Nashville, then had two assists in the Jets’ 5-1 victory over the Predators in Game 7 on Thursday night. There have been way more upsets and a lot of people don’t see them coming.

With Hedman and McDonagh, I think the Lightning have the edge on defence, but it’s not enough to stop Washington now that they’ve gotten past the Pens. “It doesn’t matter which position we are, which round it is”. “Everybody was all in and everybody was paying the price”. They came out of the second intermission aggressive and finally got on the board with just over 16 minutes remaining when Steven Stamkos capitalized on a power play.

“It’s something new for us and it’s cool”, Ovechkin said of the win after practice this week.

Out west, the Western Conference Finals consists of two teams nobody thought would be there in October.

Game 2 is Sunday night before the series shifts to Washington. The Lightning didn’t allow a goal while skating 5-on-5 for the final 147.2 minutes against Boston in Round 2. But Nikita Kucherov’s would-be breakaway goal was waved off because Tampa Bay had too many men on the ice.

Alex Ovechkin leads the Caps in playoff goals with eight and points with 15.

“I’ve had some teams that have been very, very talented and they weren’t necessarily the best teams”, said Trotz, who is in the third round for the first time in 19 years as an National Hockey League head coach.

He removed the National Hockey League regular-season leader in shutouts (8) and wins (44) and replaced him with backup Louis Domingue.

The Lightning started the third period with Louis Domingue in net after Vasilevskiy gave up four goals on 25 shots through two periods. The Lightning are -190 favorites to win the series with Washington at +165.

“We used that to our advantage in the second”, said Carlson, as the Capitals scored twice in the opening 6:42 of the second period to take a commanding 4-0 lead.

The Capitals and Lightning meet in Game 1 the NHL’s Eastern Conference finals Friday. Well, very different situations in my opinion as the Lightning at better situated with the cap as well as their farm system is lights out right now – kudos to their scouting team!

“You just can’t put a physical guy out there”, said Lightning head coach Jon Cooper. “Obviously, I don’t want to stray too far from that”. “We have to do the same here”. He has 17 points (8 G, 9 A) in 13 postseason games, his second-best playoff point production of his career.

Why Washington can win: The Caps have slain two postseason demons so far.

Tampa Bay has an excellent goaltender in Andrei Vasilevskiy as well, so this series will likely come down to which netminder can play better.

Ovi’s line saw the return from suspension of Tom Wilson and oh boy, Tommy Top Line did not wait very long to restore the line to it’s previous state. They dominated the New Jersey Devils in five games in the first round, while also knocking off a surging Boston Bruins team in as many games in round two.

Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals celebrates

Capitals draw first blood with Game 1 win over Lightning
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