NHL Playoff Game Night: 5-11-18 Capitals at Lightning

Flat as a pancake Lightning spot Washington Game One.

Eastern Conference Final


Washington Leads the Series 1-0

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 4 goals on 27 shots for the loss before giving way to Louis Domingue, who stopped all 7 shots he faced. Rather than focusing on Vasilevskiy's down night, I'm going to give a lot of credit to Domingue for coming in and making 2-3 key situational saves to help the Lightning win the Third Period and maybe climb into this series.

First Period
7:28 WSH Kempny (1), (Kuznetsov, Carlson)
19:54 WSH Ovechkin (9), (Kuznetsov, Oshie)(PP)

Second Period
2:40 WSH Beagle (2), (Connolly, Orlov)
6:42 WSH Eller (4), (Oshie, Ovechkin)

Third Period
3:45 TB Stamkos (4), (Kucherov, Hedman)(PP)
13:03 TB Palat (5), (Johnson, Stralman)

That was 40 minutes of embarrassingly flat hockey. Frankly, it's inexcusable at this time of year and whatever parades this team thought they were getting after vanquishing Boston just got cancelled. Yes, the team had a big momentum swing at the end of the First Period where a Kucherov breakaway goal was negated by a too many men penalty that swung to an Ovechkin power play goal three seconds later. That whole sequence just shows you the lack of mental sharpness and intensity that branded tonight's outing a failure from the word jump. You fail to make a clean line change and then compound the issue by losing a draw cleanly and then fail to cover a very dangerous shooter off that draw to allow a goal with under 10 seconds to go in the period. They know better and I expect them to do better, but now they've got to hope spotting the Capitals this one doesn't come back to bite them in the rear end.

The good news is the team did reach down and gut out an effort in the Third Period that they won 2-0 where they outshot the Caps 11-7 after falling behind on the shot board a laughable 25-10 through two periods. Hopefully that little bit of momentum (aided by some great stops by Louis Domingue) translates to another big backs-against-the-wall Game Two encounter similar to what they did against the Bruins.

Anthony Cirelli had 1 shot, 2 hits, and 2 blocked shots in 11:57. He was also 45% on 11 draws.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.