Lightning primed for Game 2

Aubrey Yates
May 14, 2018

Experience tells the coach and his players they shouldn't be overly concerned about losing the opening game of the Eastern Conference final at home.

The Bolts took a bad loss in game one, but they did show signs of life in the 3rd period and that should carry over to this one. Instead, Washington slowed down the Tampa Bay attack through the neutral zone and when pucks got in deep the Capitals quickly transitioned the play up the ice. He made seven saves on seven shots. "What an advantage it would be for them, so definitely pressure is on us tonight".

The Washington Capitals had just won an emotional series against the Penguins, so it would have been understandable if they were a bit flat coming into this series.

If the Capitals play a defensive first period that ends scoreless, they should gain even more confidence and force the Lightning to press more.

"One thing to remember is that this isn't the NCAA basketball tournament", said Cooper. "I didn't think we were going to have a hangover". It's paid dividends for us. It's only reasonable, therefore, to expect Tampa to come out flying in Game 2.

"Well, it's just a response", said Lightning captain Steven Stamkos. "It's the best of seven, so you get a chance to make some adjustments to improve your game and really get a look at the other team". Cherry added that they can't afford to play like that against a streaking Capitals team led by Alex Ovechkin and Braden Holtby.

"It's tough, especially when there is not much time left in the period".

"The way you build your hockey teams, those kids get a chance to play all season long".

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Washington now leads Tampa 1-0 in the series.

Despite anything that happens, it was still a moment that will go into the history books for Washington!

Sergachev's admiration for Ovechkin has forced the young Russian's family to remain mum about the fact that the two are sharing the same ice in these playoffs.

There's a trick in how to handle this, and it applies both to the Capitals and their fan base, which can envision welcoming their team home to Capital One Arena on Tuesday staked to a dominant two-game lead in the series.

That didn't leave Sergachev with many Russian defenseman to imitate growing up, so his search for an idol landed on a goal-scoring forward, who has been the symbol of what so many young Russian hockey players wanted to become. The Vezina Trophy finalist was pulled after allowing four goals on 25 shots through two periods in Game 1.

"They turned pucks up quick, put pucks behind us and dictated the way the game was going to be played", Lightning forward Chris Kunitz said. Everybody was all in and everybody was paying the price.

"We're in the conference final. We beat Boston, and Washington came and just slapped us". The Capitals' record in series openers before Friday night: 8-9. "They were that close to being where they are now if some breaks here and there had have gone their way". "You can play the ideal game and still not win, but at least you give your chance to win".

The Capitals, meanwhile, know that whatever they saw from the Lightning in Game 1 will be a lot better for Game 2. I think we're playing the full 200 feet that you need to play at playoff time and you're getting the goaltending you need and you're getting the commitment and you're getting the work ethic and you're getting the discipline and detail. "They outplayed us. They outchanced us".

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