Washington Capitals vs. Tampa Bay Lightning: 3 Takeaways From Game 2

Otis Hoffman
May 17, 2018

"I thought a lot of their opportunities we just handed to them, and a lot of our opportunities were stomped out just by our not sticking to our plan of what's worked".

The Capitals took Game 1 4-2 after a dominant first 40 minutes, then ran the Lightning out of their own building in Game 2 with a 6-2 win to take a 2-0 series lead back to Washington for Games 3 and 4. But we can't keep playing with fire and dropping these Game 1s, which we've done. "You can see all four lines doing their job".

Evgeny Kuznetsov and Lars Eller each had a goal and two assists.

Defenseman Victor Hedman assisted on the Lightning's first goal, giving him eight assists during the past seven games.

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But a 2-0 series lead is not a series win.

"He's got all of the qualities of a playoff type player", Trotz said of Eller.

"We are going to need to rely on our depth as well and stay disciplined".

Devante Smith-Pelly and Brett Connolly also scored, helping Washington improve to 7-1 on the road this post-season.

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Ovechkin is also looking for his first trip to the Stanley Cup Final, a platform Kucherov has already performed on. "They will. You're going to see their absolute best effort [Tuesday] night, so we've got to come with our best effort". "There's no panic. We're obviously not happy with losing two games on home ice, but that is not something that goes into our locker room".

Little has gone right against the Capitals. It's very uncharacteristic of us.

"I think it's great for Russian Federation to see the young guys come into North America and go through the CHL, AHL and then make it to the National Hockey League", he added. "And it's cost us", Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said. Since dropping those first two games to Columbus, the Caps have outscored opponents by a combined 29-16 at five-on-five in their last dozen games. "At the same time we've got to realize Tampa Bay is going to have some desperation in their game". Washington has won 10 of 12 games since those two opening losses to the Jackets, but the Caps know from prior experience how swiftly things can turn at this time of year.

Brayden Point and Steven Stamkos had early power-play goals for Tampa Bay, which rebounded after falling behind on Wilson's goal 28 seconds into the game. Almost three minutes into the second period, Alex Chiasson and Devante Smith-Pelly broke free for a 2-on-1, and Smith-Pelly drilled the tying score to make it 2-2.

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Beagle and Eller scored slightly more than four minutes apart in the second period.

Tampa Bay goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy was called for tripping Andre Burakovsky with 10 seconds left in the period. And ill-timed penalties late in periods have led directly to Capitals power-play goals, which definitely can't continue happening if the Lightning want to make this a series. Connolly capped the scoring at 12:57 of the final period. These past couple of games we haven't defended with the same sense of urgency and really hanging our goalie out to dry. For once, it's not just Alex Ovechkin shouldering all the responsibilities while the rest of the team sits back and watches. Instead, they vowed to play harder in front of the young goaltender, who finished with 31 saves in Game 2.

The Lightning have been exceptional through the first two rounds of the playoffs, going 6-1 at home while eliminating both the New Jersey Devils and Boston Bruins in five games. After Game 2, there was more recognition about how sharply the Capitals are playing.

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