Washington vs. Tampa Bay – Lightning has struck the Washington Capitals three times now, and they are trailing Tampa Bay three games to zero. Dwayne Roloson has been outstanding for the Lightning, and their defense has managed to keep a group of highly skilled forwards from taking over games. Last nights matchup was no exception, as the Lightning grabbed a commanding lead.
Sean Bergenheim scored the opening goal after collecting a great feed from Dominic Moore. The goal was his fifth of the post-season. Less than a minute into the second period, it was Mike Knuble getting the Capitals on the board. After a failed breakaway attempt from Alex Ovechkin, Knuble crashed the net hard and was able to bang home a rebound. Seven minutes later it was John Carlson scoring his first post-season goal on a bomb from the point.
Tampa Bay would not be put away that easily, however. After Martin St. Louis did all the grind work with the puck, he tossed it out front where Vinny Lecavalier waited to tip it past Neuvirth. At 17:27 of the second, captain Ovechkin was back at it on the power-play where he found a juicy rebound and had all the time in the world to pick his spot on the top shelf. The goal was Ovechkin’s fifth of the playoffs, and gave his team a big 3-2 lead going into the third.
Quickly we realized that the third period would belong to the Lightning. Just over five minutes into the period, Steve Stamkos fired an absolutely laser over the right shoulder of Neuvirth. Twenty-four seconds later, the Bolts took the lead with a goal by Ryan Malone. Malone was a huge force in this game, coming up with five hits, a block, and a huge goal that would turn out to be the game winner. Despite a modest effort, the Capitals couldn’t crawl back into it.
Things are looking grim for Washington, but captain Alexander Ovechkin has guaranteed a positive outcome for his team in tonight’s game, saying “We’re going to win.” Coach Bruce Boudreau had better hope that is true, otherwise he will definitely be on the hot seat this off-season.
Vancouver vs. Nashville – Here was another great goaltending battle between Nashville’s Pekka Rinne, and Vancouver’s Roberto Luongo. Let’s go straight to game highlights for this battle and check out how Ryan Kesler and the Canucks managed to squeeze out a thrilling OT victory.