NHL Playoff Game Night: 5-13-18 Capitals at Lightning

Lightning humiliated and on the ropes.

Eastern Conference Final


Washington Leads the Series 2-0

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 6 goals on 37 shots for the loss. The soul-crushing soft goal with 3 seconds to go in the Second Period led to the team's unraveling. So, Vasilevskiy's got a lot of soul searching to do between now and Tuesday, along with the rest of the team top to bottom.

First Period
0:28 WSH Wilson (3), (Niskanen, Kuznetsov)
7:08 TB Point (5), (Stamkos, Hedman)(PP)
10:22 TB Stamkos (5), (Kucherov, Point)(PP)

Second Period
2:50 WSH Smith-Pelly (3), (Chiasson, Carlson)
18:58 WSH Eller (5), (Vrana)
19:57 WSH Kuznetsov (8), (Ovechkin, Eller)(PP)

Third Period
3:34 WSH Ovechkin (10), (Kuznetsov, Wilson)
12:57 WSH Connolly (3), (Eller, Carlson)

It's as if this team left their collective brains and poise in the Boston series. All of the focus and commitment to detail and to playing a physical game has been replaced by a complete haze. The energy was there tonight, but it was misplaced somehow. The coaching staff made a great tweak putting the Paquette line on the Ovechkin line that the advanced stats say was a winning decision, only to see the other three lines get outplayed by what should be, on paper, a matchup advantage for the Lightning. They seem bewildered by the Caps 1-1-3 neutral zone trap and unwilling or unable to do what it takes to get through some of the Caps clutching and grabbing. It's a total failure up and down the lineup and the coaching staff at this point.

Should they throw in the towel? No. I've seen this team come back from dropping the first two games at home against this very same franchise in 2003. It's not a lost cause. But this team's got to find its resolve and its poise to get a foothold in this series in Game Three first before all hope is lost. Get something to hang your hat on at 5v5 and go from there.

Anthony Cirelli was -1 with 1 shot and was 50% on 10 draws in 11:10.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.