The Tampa Bay Lightning were the favored team going into the Eastern Conference Final, but they certainly did look like it early on. The Lightning were held to just two shots on goal in the first period and were being outshot 25-10 through 40 minutes. Meanwhile, the Capitals were taking advantage of goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy at the other end of the ice, scoring four goals with two on the power play.
Tampa Bay did come out stronger in the third period, but they couldn’t dig themselves out of that four-goal hole. With that Washington has taken a 1-0 series lead in Tampa Bay, putting the pressure on the Lightning to at least even the series before the Capitals get to play at home.
Of course, this is still just Game 1 we’re talking about. Boston beat the Lightning 6-2 to open up the second round and the Lightning still won that series in five games. Washington dropped Game 1 in its second round series against Pittsburgh too and won that series 4-2.
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WASHINGTON 4 TAMPA BAY 2 (Capitals lead series 1-0)
Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 21 of 25 Capitals shots in 40 minutes. Louis Domingue came out for the third and turned aside the seven shots he faced. It was his first career appearance in a playoff game.
Braden Holtby kicked aside 19 of 21 shots. This is the second straight game that Washington has managed to limit the competition’s shot total as Pittsburgh was held to 22 shots on Holtby in Game 6.
Jay Beagle scored the game-winning goal. It was his second marker and fifth point in 12 playoff games.
Alex Ovechkin had a goal and an assist in the first Conference Finals game of his career. He’s up to nine goals and 17 points in 13 postseason games.
Evgeny Kuznetsov assisted on two of Washington’s four goals. He’s been hot lately with two goals and seven points in his last four contests.
Steven Stamkos found the back of the net for the Lightning. That extended his point streak to four games.
Ondrej Palat also scored a goal for Tampa Bay. He has five goals and nine points in 11 playoff games.
Game 2 is set for 8:00 p.m. ET on Sunday.