Capitals

Capitals

The Capitals marched into Tampa Bay and won both games to take a 2-0 series lead in the 2018 Eastern Conference Final.

Washington trailed the Lightning 2-1 at the end of the first period, but the Caps scored five straight in the final 40 minutes for the 6-2 win on Mother's Day.

Here's how the Caps blew out Tampa Bay on Sunday.

3 reasons why the Capitals beat the Lightning in Game 2

1. Fast start

Considering how Game 1 went, getting off to a better start was likely a big key for the Lightning. They didn’t get the start they wanted, however, as Tom Wilson put Washington up 1-0 just 28 seconds into the game.

Matt Niskanen fired a quick shot from the blue line and Wilson got a stick to it to deflect it past Vasilevskiy.

It is the 11th time in 14 playoff games the Caps have scored first this postseason.

2. Another late period goal

The turning point in Game 1 was Alex Ovechkin’s goal with six seconds remaining in the first period. The Caps pulled off yet another late period goal in Game 2.

Vasilevskiy was caught sticking his leg out to trip Andre Burakovsky with just 10 seconds left to go. After the faceoff, Kuznetsov quickly corralled the puck in the corner and quickly fired a pass to the crease looking for Lars Eller, but Vasilevskiy got his stick in the way of it and deflected it into his own net. That gave Washington a 4-2 lead with just three seconds left to go in the period.

 

3. Resiliency

There’s no excuse for the officiating in this game. I try not to mention it because people tend to overemphasize its impact and complain about it every time a call goes against their team, but this game was pretty atrocious.

Tom Wilson got hooked into Andrei Vasilevskiy and got called for goalie interference. Victor Hedman was hit with the puck and T.J. Oshie was booked for high-sticking. Both calls came in the first period and both resulted in goals for the Lightning.

Those plays can be demoralizing. The Caps played well in the first period but were down 2-1 through two bad penalty calls. It’s frustrating and in past years, they may not have been able to recover. This year's team is different. The frustration did not get to them and they came out and dominated the second period with three goals to take a 4-2 lead and five straight after going down 2-1.

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