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Statistically Speaking: Capitals surprise Lightning in Game One

Statistically Speaking: Capitals surprise Lightning in Game One

Now Tampa Bay has to find a way to rediscover itself in Sunday's Game 2 to avoid falling into a hole that might be too deep to climb out of in the quest to return to the Stanley Cup Final for the second time in four seasons.

In the second period, "Tampa" continued "yawn" attack "Washington". Washington leads the best of seven series, 1-0.

The Washington Capitals had not played in an Eastern Conference Final since 1998.

"So when you give up those chances, I look at "Vasy" and say, 'God, 4-2?" 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. In the first period, the Caps outshot the Lightning 9-2. Tampa Bay respects its opponent.

Washington did a great job dictating pace through the first 40 minutes.

It was a lackluster first period for the Lightning, which had not played since clinching their semifinal series with Boston on Sunday. "We just need to be way more assertive on the ice and play with that edge that we had after Game 1 last series".

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The Capitals were able to win despite not having Backstrom in the lineup. The offense just wasn't there for them in game one, until the 3rd period, but by then it was pretty much too late. Well, folks, that's why they play the games.

Eller has moved up a line in Backstrom's absence, and he delivered his usual beastly performance on Friday. "That's the way we have to look at it", Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. At even-strength, Eller was on the ice for 18 shot attempts for and 13 against, giving him a 58.06 percent CorsiFor percentage.

"We were making our shots and getting them through to the net", Capitals forward T.J. Oshie said. The Capitals have been very solid on the road in the postseason, but the Bolts have been a very good 34-14 here at home for the year, including 5-2 in the postseason.

To add insult to the no-goal, the Caps scored six seconds later.

The Capitals seized control of Friday's contest on a freakish sequence that included a Tampa goal waived off for 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. The Vezina Trophy finalist was pulled after allowing four goals on 25 shots through two periods in Game 1. "I know I'm going to be playing a couple more minutes and we all as a team have to step up a little more - me and some other guys who are going to get increased roles when a guy like Nicky is out". The Lightning went on to win four of those series, only losing the 2014 opening round series to Montreal and the 2015 Stanley Cup Final to Chicago.


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