Washington Capitals vs. Tampa Bay Lightning: 3 takeaways from Game 1

Heather Diaz
May 13, 2018

The Tampa Bay Lightning are not messing around. However, are we just going to ignore the fact that the Washington Capitals have won 14 of the last 19 meetings against the Lightning?

This restriction also applies to seats against the glass and in the Chase Club luxury suites.

Tampa Bay needed nine minutes to get a shot on Holtby.

Anton Stralman and Ryan McDonagh - The Lightning defence tandem was under 41% possession in a game that saw Tampa Bay playing from behind for the majority of the contest, and McDonagh was on the ice for both of Washington's power play goals. Let Game 1 begin. 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.

Tampa reached the Eastern Conference finals for a third time in four seasons and the fourth time since 2011.

Well, it was either not as bad as they thought, or it was one of their worst, but what the Lightning can agree on is they have to be a heck of a lot better in this Eastern Conference final, which continues with Game 2 on Sunday night at Amalie Arena. Early in the third period Steven Stamkos got the Lightning on the board with a power-play goal.

The Capitals were able to win despite not having Backstrom in the lineup. But of course, they must keep up their stellar play.

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There were a couple encouraging aspects of the Game 1 loss for the Lightning, though you have to look hard to find them.

Without Backstrom, the Capitals turned to third-line center Lars Eller to fill in. C Cédric Paquette blocked a shot on the right knee late in the second period, but stayed in the game. But the chance was created by Ovechkin, who shot a one-timer that deflected over to T.J. Oshie and then to Eller. Everything is going the Capitals' way so far.

It looked like the Bolts tied the game with 7.1 seconds left. The Lightning had just erased a spectacular Nikita Kucherov goal with a too many men on the ice penalty.

The Golden Knights have surprised everyone this year, and they should not be underestimated. Alex Ovechkin leads Washington with nine goals, Nicklas Backstrom has 10 assists and Evgeny Kuznetsov has 45 shots on goal.

Need more proof? The Caps are finally getting bounces to go their way.

"For whatever reason they were quicker to the pucks, better disciplined and better on special teams and that is a good recipe for success", Canadian forward Stamkos said.

"I view it as a two-year window", general manager Brian MacLellan said of the Capitals' chance of winning the Stanley Cup during the 2015-2016 season.

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