Lightning eye bounce-back performance against Capitals

Lynette Rowe
May 13, 2018

The Washington Capitals came out strong in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final.

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.

But the party had to end.

Backstrom traveled with the team to Tampa Bay, but is still considered day-to-day.

The Lightning won the season series 2-1 and outscored the Capitals 9 to 8, so both of their offenses seem fairly balanced, but the Lightning's trade deadline acquisitions in J.T. Miller and Ryan McDonagh and the top duo of Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos make them to be the favorite in this match up, but Washington will for sure put up a fight, plus will be fully energized and full of confidence, so it will be a close match up, but the prediction: Tampa Bay in 7 games.

"Our goal wasn't just to get this far", said Capitals goalie Braden Holtby, who made 18 saves in likely his easiest win of the post-season. You enjoy it for a couple days. "I think our execution needs to be a lot better and that's execution with a game plan and execution when we're trying to make plays with the puck".

Here's how to watch Lightning vs. Capitals Game 1 Online.

Jay Beagle - The Capitals checking centre struggled in terms of puck possession (7 for, 11 against, 38.9 CF%,), but also scored Washington's third goal, his first goal since the first game of the playoffs.

This series will come down to goaltending, what teams power play can produce the most and what depth players will step up and contribute offensively.

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"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. I think this whole playoffs we went out there with an attack mentality. "And it did tonight". The Lightning scored a goal, but it was later ruled that Tampa had too many men on the ice. Washington must limit the J.T. Miller-Steven Stamkos-Nikita Kucherov line as scoring will be a hard task to come by against this defensively deep Lightning unit.

"All of those things combined, you have a chance every night if you do that".

Cooper said his team allowed more scoring chances to the Capitals during the second period of it 4-2 loss Friday than it did in four of the five games of the conference semifinal against the Bruins.

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

"I f-- up", Kucherov told The Athletic Saturday. "The crowd was kind of stunned a little bit". Washington leads the best of seven series, 1-0. Hear all the highlights of Game 1 with John Walton on the call alongside Ken Sabourin on the Capitals Radio Network.

The Lightning rallied for two goals in the third period to trail 4-2 with six minutes remaining, but ultimately fell by the same score.

For the Lightning, that was without a doubt the worst game they played this postseason.

"We've been here in this situation before", Stamkos said. Everybody was all in and everybody was paying the price. "And, we better have some desperation in our game". We just didn't treat it that way. They earned their breaks. How was it not 8-2?' " Cooper said Saturday. "You can play the ideal game and still not win, but at least you give your chance to win".

During Game Five of the Capitals second round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Nicklas Backstrom appeared to block a shot and injured his right hand.

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