Sunday, 21 October, 2018

AUDIO: Highlights of Capitals-Lightning Game 1 East Final

Mike Harrington: All eyes on Ovechkin in Caps' first trip to East final since '98 win over Sabres Lightning vs. Capitals: TV schedule, odds for the Eastern Conference Finals
Eugene Bates | 13 May, 2018, 00:41

But instead of resting on the accomplishment and acting like "second-round champions", the Capitals played like a team with designs on the Stanley Cup in a 4-2 trouncing of Tampa in Game 1 of the East finals on Friday night.

Just two seconds later, the Capitals scored on the powerplay in front of a crowd of 19,090 at Tampa's Amalie Arena. "We didn't stick to our game plan". The issues that plagued the Lightning in Game 1 of that series were corrected. Kill seven seconds, go into the dressing room and regroup.

The Lightning dropped the opener of a series for the second straight round.

"It's just a response", the captain says. Louis Domingue came in to start the third period for the Lightning. We'll look to be better. "Obviously we wanted to go after them in the first period". Kucherov eventually ended up picking up the primary assist on Steven Stamkos' power-play goal in the third frame.

"We tried to create a momentum on our side and not give them life", Ovechkin said. The expansion team defeated the San Jose Sharks in six games to get to the conference final. The Caps were a far better team at home than on the road during the regular season, but so far in the postseason they have gone 6-1 on the road and just 3-3 at home. "We all watched the tape we had a good solid practice today and the response level needs to be there [Sunday]".

Added Lightning winger Ryan Callahan: "We've just got to put it behind us". "We're gonna keep going here".

With only those seven ticks left on the clock, the Capitals set up for an offensive zone face-off in the right circle, with T.J. Oshie lined up against the Lightning's Anthony Cirelli. "In hindsight, we were in this same position in the last round and found a way to respond".

Tampa Bay's speed and quickness were decisive in their victory over the Bruins, and Nikita Kucherov, Brayden Point and Steven Stamkos are going to play key roles against the Capitals. "They outplayed us. They outchanced us". We've been in this situation before, unfortunately. But that changes on the power play, Carlson said. They outscored us. They out-everythinged us.

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If you thought the Capitals would not be ready mentally for the Eastern Conference Final after an emotional win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, you were wrong. Well, folks, that's why they play the games. "And this is the result you get". "You play knowing the situation and you play with that healthy anxiousness, if you will, to get back and even the series up".

Washington spent two flawlessly the start of the period and has naturally selected the "Tampa" home ice advantage.

"I expect it to be way different", Johnson says. And nobody on this roster needs to pause to think that question over. "And we have a lot more to do".

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