Photo Courtesy: USA Today

Caps Take Dominating 2-0 Series Lead Over Lightning

May 14, 2018 - 10:04 am

By Joe Schiller

In their first Eastern Conference Finals appearance in 20 years, the Washington Capitals have been scorching out of the gate. Following a convincing Game 1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday night, the Caps continued their dominance with a 6-2 win, jumping out to a 2-0 series lead.

All it took was 28 seconds in the first period for Washington to get the scoring started. Tom Wilson deflected a Matt Niskanen shot with perfection past Andrei Vasilevskiy in what looked to be like déjà vu for the Lightning all over again.

However, that wasn’t the case in the first period. Two penalties by the Caps led to two power-play goals for the Lightning as they took a 2-1 lead in the game.

Perhaps the most questionable call came on a high-sticking penalty by forward T.J. Oshie. He reached his stick in the air to combat a flying puck and hit the glove of Victor Hedman. But in real speed, it looked like Oshie’s stick struck Hedman in the face, when it was really the puck.

The referees awarded the penalty anyway.

What could have been a game-changing call proved to be minimal. The Caps brought the scoring momentum from Game 1 and tallied three unanswered goals in the second period by the way of Devante Smith-Pelly, Lars Eller, and Evgeny Kuznetsov. Eller’s and Kuznetsov’s goal came just over a minute apart at the end of the period, giving Washington a 4-2 lead headed into the third.

As the Caps continued to score, the Lightning had no answer whatsoever. Alex Ovechkin and Brett Connolly tallied goals of their own to cap off the win in front of the Tampa Bay home crowd.

By that time, the majority of arena was empty.

The magic number for the Stanley Cup is now 6. It may be looking too far ahead but it’s hard not to with a team that's been striving for the elusive title for so long.