Published: Sat, May 12, 2018
Sport | By Victor Mcdonald

Despite attempted Tampa Rocketman sabotage, the Capitals found liftoff in Game 1

Despite attempted Tampa Rocketman sabotage, the Capitals found liftoff in Game 1

The two main factors that led to this dominant Washington victory were straightforward and uncomplicated. It's disallowed, and the Capitals head to the power play themselves.

First, let's look at the Caps. They didn't, of course, but that they were in the mix speaks to the dominance the Lightning have shown throughout the campaign. "They're high-skilled, high-execution type guys and it worked out".

What they could control: their emotions; their defensive structure, which frustrated the Lightning; their power play, which generated two goals on four chances. The four forwards lines and six defensemen were in synch. Braden Holtby has given up 25 goals on 332 shots faced and Philipp Grubauer has allowed eight goals on 49 shots.

Expect the Lightning to build off a positive finish in Game 2. But based on how game one played out, the history between these clubs and the price, I'd be a fool to turn down the plus money. But in this contest, they weren't even close to that earlier level. "So, they have a plan every time they go out there".

"Our power play struck right away so really gave us some breathing room", Capitals Coach Barry Trotz said. And when they did have possession in the Caps zone, they had problems getting pucks to the net.

"We were six men by a mile, so I don't think anyone was too fired up with the goal", said Lightning forward Steven Stamkos, "but any time you give up a goal at the end of the period it gives momentum to the other team". But they had 18 attempts, meaning Holtby didn't have to stop 16 of those shot attempts.

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Only in the final 20-minute "Tampa" recalled "to Washington" who is the master of the match. Tampa Bay won both previous meetings, including a sweep in the Eastern Conference semifinals seven years ago. But also, the Lightning's wobbly outing greatly aided Washington's play.

"It doesn't take much to get up for these ones", Tom Wilson, who returned to action Friday following a three-game suspension, told NHL Network after the game. It went from 1-0 Caps to 1-1 to 2-0 Caps.

"It just speaks to the whole city and the whole organization, the way they involve everybody, make everybody feel like they're a part of the team on the ice", said Hall, "like they have a say and have a stake in what's going on out there".

Why The Capitals Win There aren't many teams that can keep up with the Lightning shot-for-shot, goal-for-goal, but the Capitals have proven over the course of the post-season that they are most certainly one.

Down 4-0, Stamkos tried to get a Lightning comeback started in the third with a power-play goal.

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