Capitals seize control over Lightning in wild 2-second swing

Capitals bust rust, explode early for win in first Conference Final game since 1998

Statistically Speaking: Capitals surprise Lightning in Game One

The Caps blitz the Lightning with a pair of first period goals and two more in the second period on their way to a 4-2 victory at Amalie Arena in Tampa. And now that his former team has been knocked out of the playoffs, he might have just a little extra motivation. That's a minor thing, of course, but as the Tampa Bay Lightning get set to take on the Washington Capitals it helps set the tone for what shapes up on paper to be a visually-pleasing Eastern Conference Final. Ovechkin drilled a one-timer on net, and Vasilevskiy made the stop, He got Oshie's follow-up with his left pad, too, but was in no position to do anything about Eller, who potted the rebound of the Oshie shot into a yawning cage to make it a 4-0 game at 6:42.

"We had a really good start".

"It's something new for us and cool", Ovechkin said Wednesday, less than 48 hours after Washington eliminated the defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins.

Washington really needs the puck and really needs to generate power play opportunities. It's effort. Everybody was paying the price. The Tampa Bay Lightning have played in three of the last four.

Each year, there seems to be one team that goes on a deep playoff run that just fits this bill. However, we all know the playoffs come down to a hot goalie.

Jets (C2) vs. Golden Knights (P1)- If you say that in September you predicted a Jets-Golden Knights conference final, you're lying.

Brayden Point, Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos are on top of their games and lead a unsafe offense against Washington. But that goal was quickly waved off, and two seconds later, Washington had a 2-0 lead, thanks to the NHL's leading goal-scorer from the regular season.

Backstrom has three goals and 10 assists in 11 games this postseason, including one overtime game victor. "There's other ones that get the starry-eyed, saucer-eyed (look) and they have to sort of work through that", Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. Jay Beagle made it a 3-0 game at 2:40 of the second.

Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals celebrates a goal.

The Capitals' Michal Kempny started the scoring 7:28 into the first period. Neither can his 2.04 Goals Against Average and.926 Save Percentage. At nearly every turn in the first two periods, the Capitals had an answer for the Bolts.

Winnipeg's powerplay was a huge difference maker in the second round series with Nashville, and should be able to wheel against the Golden Knights too. They rebounded from a lopsided Game 1 loss at home to Boston by winning four straight to advance to the conference finals for the third time in four years.

"That's a good hockey team over there who outplayed us tonight", Stamkos said. We've been in this situation before, unfortunately.

Given those developments, it's easy to conclude a fresher team, even if it is inexperienced, has an advantage over a tired team at this time of year. "We have to do the same here".

Heading into Conference Finals Backstrom has 13 points including 10 assists and eight power play points. "But Tampa is not a highly penalized team, which can be problematic". Stamkos and Hedman are the only players remaining on the Lightning roster from that series.

Few teams can match the Lightning's top two forward lines, but if Nicklas Backstrom is healthy, Washington can. San Jose was ousted by Vegas in six games in the Pacific Division finals and the Penguins, of course, lost to Washington. The Caps have outscored opponents 14-3 in the opening period this postseason.

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