3 takeaways from the Capitals skating through the Lightning in Game 1

13 May, 2018, 01:24 | Author: Brooke Harris
  • Capitals bust rust, explode early for win in first Conference Final game since 1998

The Capitals had eight of the game's first 10 shots on goal.

This short duration was a crucial swing of momentum in the Capitals' 4-2 win in Game 1 against the Tampa Bay Lightning. But based on how game one played out, the history between these clubs and the price, I'd be a fool to turn down the plus money.

Washington defeats Tampa Bay 4-2, Alex Ovechkin goal and assist. The Lightning were assessed a too many men penalty on the play. Where Kempny really dominated, however, was especially impressive in the offensive zone.

The Washington Capitals came out strong in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final. And the Lightning never recovered. Lars Eller's power play goal gave the Caps the 4-0 lead they would take into the third period before Tampa Bay answered with a pair of lamp-lighters in the final period. Early in the third period Steven Stamkos got the Lightning on the board with a power-play goal. It's just execution. Right off the draw, we know what they're trying to do. It's a full turnover from the final four teams past year: Pittsburgh, Ottawa, Nashville and Anaheim.

Tampa, which has made it to the NHL's Final Four three out of the last four seasons, is a formidable opponent. Tampa Bay finished with 21, a playoff low and only two above the low for the entire regular-season.

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The Capitals, in the conference finals for the first time since 1998, will need that to continue and then some against the top-seeded Lightning.

Part of the reason Tampa Bay could not gain traction was the defense of the Capitals. "They played simple and earned their breaks, earned their power plays and capitalized on them". As a result, the Lightning began to overthink. Evgeny Kuznetsov got to the puck and fed Ovechkin, who one-timed it into the net. The flawless shot was rarely there. I'm expecting a better peformance from the Lightning here and wouldn't be shocked if they get the victory. The Lighting should be the favorite here based on it nearly being a must-win, and the fact they're the deeper, better team from top to bottom.

There were a couple encouraging aspects of the Game 1 loss for the Lightning, though you have to look hard to find them. "This feels like more of a team than any team I've ever been with at the National Hockey League level". "Nicky is one of those guys that you can throw him in, and he's not going to miss a beat".

Girardi said the best thing they can do is move forward and put in a good practice Saturday to prepare for Game 2.

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