Game 1 in the Western Conference Final starts at 7 p.m. ET Saturday. Basically, the same reasons I had Washington on Friday night.
But the party had to end. In the second round, Tampa Bay had faced a Boston Bruins team that was riding a wave of momentum following a Game 7 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs, losing 6-2 in the series-opener.
The Washington Capitals had not played in an Eastern Conference Final since 1998. "Obviously, there was a lot of emotions through our locker room after that series win". "We're going for it this year, we're going for it next year, and then after that we're evaluating where we're at".
Andrei Vasilevskiy had a rough game giving up four goals on 25 shots in two periods of play. That was his ninth goal of this postseason, to go along with seven assists.
"For the most part that's the best we played through the neutral zone", said defenseman John Carlson. I think this whole playoffs we went out there with an attack mentality. It's paid dividends for us. And the statement might have been to themselves more than the Lightning, who will be searching for answers heading into Game 2 on Sunday night. That was never more evident than at the end of the first period, when Tampa appeared to have tied the game at 1-1 on a Nikita Kucherov goal, but the goal was waved off because the Lightning had six skaters on the ice. The Capitals held the Lightning to 10 shots in the first two periods.
The Capitals got off to a 2-0 lead in the first period.
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Chris Hughton's side are however one of three teams to stop the Egyptian in the league this season. This is my first year here and it is the same for some other players.
"It's tough, especially when there is not much time left in the period".
Added Lightning winger Ryan Callahan: "We've just got to put it behind us. They out-played us", Stamkos said following the game. "The crowd was kind of stunned a little bit". In winning Game 1, the Capitals did what Holtby called "trying to control the controllables".
Noon - Injuries to Nicklas Backstrom (hand) and Andre Burakovsky (upper body) were the topics of discussion during the Capitals' morning skate and both are game-time decisions, according to coach Barry Trotz. They couldn't control starting this series on the road, nor the rest the Lightning had before Game 1. The Washington Capitals are averaging 3.1 goals per game and are scoring on 22.5 percent of their power play opportunities.
Steven Stamkos had a chance to at an early goal when he broke in alone on Holtby, but his chance at a quality shot ended when he was hooked by Matt Niskanen.
"We tried to create a moment for our side". It's effort. Everybody was paying the price. That's what happened in Game One. "We've got to get back to what got us to the conference final". I'm not trying to take anything from Washington.
Cooper said he did not expect the Capitals to suffer a letdown.