Caps offense explodes in game two; lead series 2-0

Heading into game two, the Capitals were looking for a repeat performance; while the Lightning were looking for the complete opposite of game one‘s showing.

Tom Wilson scored 28 seconds into the Mother’s Day contest to give the Caps an early 1-0 lead. Wilson’s goal was assisted by Matt Niskanen and Evgeny Kuznetsov.

After Wilson’s goal, the remaining of the opening period was surrounded by controversy.

Beginning at the 6:48 mark when Wilson was sent to the penalty box for goalie interference after the refs missed a hook by Chris Kunitz that lead to the Wilson interference. Tampa Bay’s Brayden Point scored on the ensuing power play to tie the game.

Less than two minutes later T.J. Oshie was called for high-sticking on a play where his stick completely missed Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman. Steven Stamkos scored his second power play goal in as many games to give the Lightning their first lead of the series.

Despite scoring for the 11th time in 14 games, the Capitals trailed at the first intermission for the first time this postseason.

 

Over the past four games, Devante Smith-Pelly has seen his name move from the first line all the way down to the fourth line. He made his presence felt 2:50 into the second period by tying the game on a 3 vs 1 breakaway with Alex Chiasson and John Carlson. Carlson’s assist gives him the Capitals all-time record for most points by a defenseman in a single postseason.

Lars Eller scored his second goal in as many games with 1:02 remaining in the second period.

With 10 seconds remaining in the period Tampa Bay goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy was called for tripping. In hockey the goaltender does not go to the penalty box; as a result he penalty was served by Ondrej Palat; and Kuznetsov scored three seconds before the buzzer to give the Caps a 4-2 lead. Eller earned his second point of game two as he got the secondary assist.

The Kuznetsov goal marked the second time in five periods that Washington scored a power play goal in the final 10 seconds of the period.

 

Alex Ovechkin and Kuznetsov found themselves on a 2 vs 1 breakaway 3:34 into the final period and Ovechkin put the nail in the coffin; scoring his 10th goal of the 2018 playoffs. The goal was Ovechkin’s second point of the night; he earlier assisted on the Kuznetsov goal. Wilson also got his second point of the night as the secondary assist-man on the breakaway. Kuznetsov finished the night tied for the team-high three points.

Brett Connolly scored his third goal of the postseason with 7:03 remaining to make the Capitals lead 6-2. Eller’s assist on the goal was his third point of the night; while Carlson’s secondary assist marked his second point in game two.

 

Meanwhile, Nicklas Backstrom missed his third straight game Sunday night. He is still listed as day-to-day with a hand injury. The Caps are 3-0 in his absence.

 

The series now moves to Washington as game 3 is at Capital One Arena Tuesday night at 8:00pm.

Sterling Blount

As a die-hard fan of everything Duke, Wizards, Capitals, Ravens, and Orioles, Sterling has a life-long residence in the second round. Sterling is the founder of "Sports, Life, and Anything Else"; a blog in which his prior work can be found.