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Statistically Speaking: Capitals surprise Lightning in Game One

13 May, 2018, 02:00 | Author: Tommie Newton
  • NHL Playoffs 2018: Capitals' Nicklas Backstrom, Andre Burakovsky game-time decisions for Game 1 against Lightning

The Tampa Bay Lighting have allowed three or more goals in five of their last 10 games.

Despite Backstrom's absence, the Capitals opened with a 4-2 win over the top-seeded Lightning.

This restriction also applies to seats against the glass and in the Chase Club luxury suites. There were six Tampa Bay skaters on the ice - for a while.

The Capitals seized control of Friday's contest on a freaky sequence that included a Tampa goal waived off for a too-many-men-on-the-ice penalty. Defensively, the Tampa Bay Lighting are allowing 2.9 goals per game and are killing 76.1 percent of their opponents power plays.

Alex Ovechkin scored 5.3 seconds into the ensuing power play to give the Capitals a 2-0 lead, in what was the turning point of the game. Steven Stamkos and Ondrej Palat tried to spark a third period comeback, but it never really got going. However, it's worth noting the Boston Bruins made the Lightning look bad in Game 1 of their second-round series and the Bolts wound up winning the next four games. Having done that in Game 1, the Caps know what to expect tonight in Game 2.

The Capitals were able to win despite not having Backstrom in the lineup.

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The Caps, with the game's result seemingly assured, put forth a sloppy effort in the third period, but hung on for the victory. Washington has to be pleased with how Game 1 went. They were credited with almost 60 percent of the shot attempts during that timeframe. At even-strength, Eller was on the ice for 18 shot attempts for and 13 against, giving him a 58.06 percent CorsiFor percentage. But the chance was created by Ovechkin, who shot a one-timer that deflected over to T.J. Oshie and then to Eller. Nikita Kucherov leads Tampa Bay with six goals, Steven Stamkos has seven assists and Brayden Point has 23 shots on goal.

The Golden Knights have surprised everyone this year, and they should not be underestimated.

Czech defenceman Michal Kempny, with the first of the game and his first of the postseason, and Lars Eller, of Denmark, also scored for Washington, a team playing its first National Hockey League semifinal series in two decades.

Need more proof? The Caps are finally getting bounces to go their way. It's just execution. Right off the draw, we know what they're trying to do.

The Lightning are in the Conference final for the third time in four years but it didn't look like it Friday as they pulled starting goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy at the end of the second period with the score 4-0.

The Stanley Cup Final is the NHL's signature event, and with the Eastern Conference Final underway and the Western Conference Final starting Saturday, the championship round is within sight.



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