Published: Sun, May 13, 2018
Sport | By Patty Hardy

AUDIO: Highlights of Capitals-Lightning Game 1 East Final

AUDIO: Highlights of Capitals-Lightning Game 1 East Final

The Capitals came to Tampa this weekend intent on winning at least one of the first two games of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Lightning.

"Hmm", Stamkos says, after a Saturday afternoon off-day practice, "to be honest, it probably wasn't a game where you look back-it might not have been as bad as you thought".

If you ask fellow Lightning forward, Tyler Johnson, it was far from great.

"It doesn't take much to get up for these ones", Tom Wilson, who returned to action Friday following a three-game suspension, told NHL Network after the game. He had five points (one goal, four assists) in the second round. "We didn't stick to our game plan". The issues that plagued the Lightning in Game 1 of that series were corrected.

Game 2 is Sunday night at Amalie Arena, where Tampa Bay also lost Game 1 in the second round against Boston.

They couldn't control the injury that deprived them of star center Nicklas Backstrom for a second straight game. Stamkos called his team a "calm group", twice.

"We just carried it over from the Pittsburgh series", said Beagle. In the first period, the Caps outshot the Lightning 9-2. We'll look to be better.

In the end, it wasn't the Capitals coasting into Game 1 on the good vibes of the previous round, not exhibiting the levels of competitive ferocity to win this playoff game. In Game 1, it was pretty simple.

Said goaltender Braden Holtby: "We know probably better than anyone how complete a player Nick is, especially defensively". Andrei Vasilevskiy has given up 26 goals on 326 shots faced and Louis Domingue has allowed zero goals on seven shots.

"I'm not anxious about Nick Backstrom", Trotz said.

"It's a little bit of a chess match", Carlson said. They got traffic in front and pucks on goal.

"We tried to create a momentum on our side and not give them life", Ovechkin said. The Capitals were relentless going after the puck and it paid off big time for them. "In hindsight, we were in this same position in the last round and found a way to respond". "All four lines played well in the first period and we need to do the same in the next game and the rest of the series". "It had been blown dead for a while", Stamkos said. "There's no situation that we probably haven't been in in the last couple years". We just didn't treat it that way. There's really nothing that we're going to throw at them that they're going to be surprised about.

The start date for the 2017 Stanley Cup Final was May 29.

Head coach Barry Trotz is "optimistic" Backstrom (upper body) will be able to return at some point during the Eastern Conference finals, Isabelle Khurshudyan of The Washington Post reports.

Washington captain talks to media after Game 1 win. C Cédric Paquette blocked a shot on the right knee late in the second period, but stayed in the game. "You play knowing the situation and you play with that healthy anxiousness, if you will, to get back and even the series up". Tampa Bay finished with 21, a playoff low and only two above the low for the entire regular-season. "And we have a lot more to do". And nobody on this roster needs to pause to think that question over. "We're a very confident group, we know what we have in here, we know what we can do".

Like this: