Washington Capitals Win Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals

Marcus Newton
May 12, 2018

Just more winning hockey.

Alex Ovechkin hit a very deep one-timer in the Washington Capitals' Game 1 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference finals. Yet the final 10 seconds of the first period provided an early turning point. "We didn't give them much", said Ovechkin, who is playing in the first Conference finals of his storied career.

Lightning: Mustered a postseason-worst two shots on goal in the first 20 minutes. It's effort. Everybody was paying the price. In Game 1 against the Lightning, the Capitals asked Eller to take on their top line, featuring Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov, and J.T. Miller.

In the game one victory, the Washington Capitals got 32 shots compared to just 21 by the Tampa Bay Lighting, and most of those shots and the two goals came in garbage time when they were selling out in hopes of getting back into the game late.

The Washington captain, who as the gap-toothed face of the franchise had probably worn the previous post-season disappointments more so than any other player, had one of his best games of this year's playoffs.

"It was nice to beat the Pens, but we've got work to do left", Wilson said. There's a ton of things that don't get noticed, except for from us. They bottled up the Lightning speed through the neutral zone and didn't allow them time in the offensive zone.

What they could control: their emotions; their defensive structure, which frustrated the Lightning; their power play, which generated two goals on four chances.

"They're all good stories", Capitals coach Barry Trotz said.

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Still, all Tampa Bay had to do was make a play. In the first period, the Caps outshot the Lightning 9-2.

Stamkos and Kucherov had one shot between them in the first two periods.

The Jets won three of four games in Nashville in their second-round series, and this team is rolling.

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. "In hindsight we were in the same position after the last round and found a way to respond". We've been in this situation before, unfortunately. The Bolts will have to repeat the script from their second-round series against the Boston Bruins, in which they lost Game 1, to draw even against the Capitals, or else this could be a surprisingly short series. "We have to do the same here".

It was Ovechkin's ninth goal of the postseason and fourth on the power play. The Capitals didn't allow them space to move or time to think.

It was a set play the Lightning had seen on tape all week.

They couldn't control the injury that deprived them of star center Nicklas Backstrom for a second straight game.

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