Lightning-Capitals: Can Tampa Bay produce another Game 2 bounce back?

NHL Playoffs 2018: Capitals' Nicklas Backstrom, Andre Burakovsky game-time decisions for Game 1 against Lightning

The Eastern Conference Final. The Caps take a 3-0 lead 2:40 into the second period. It went from 1-0 Caps to 1-1 to 2-0 Caps.

Backstrom scored 20 goals with 51 assists this season, and he's a key piece of Washington's top power-play unit along with killing penalties.

The Tampa Bay Lighting need a victory here to tie up this series at 1-1 in order to prevent falling in a massive hole early.

Steven Stamkos, on the powerplay, and Ondrej Palat scored goals in the third period for the Lightning, who had an easier time getting to this stage of the playoffs by eliminating Boston and New Jersey in just five games each. At the start of Friday's game, the giant jumbotron at Amalie Arena displayed: "We're back". His status remains unclear: The Capitals didn't practice on Saturday, and Coach Barry Trotz said that while Backstrom worked out off the ice, he didn't do anything on it. In Game 1, it was pretty simple. The better team doesn't win 100 percent of the time because they run into a hot goaltender or the bounces don't go their way or they play down to their competition.

Evgeny Kuznetsov - The Capitals centre added two assists in Game One at Tampa Bay, giving him 16 points (7 G, 9 A) in 13 games.

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Part of the reason Tampa Bay could not gain traction was the defense of the Capitals. He did a great job in Game 6 against the Pittsburgh Penguins, being asked to take on the Evgeni Malkin line. C Cédric Paquette blocked a shot on the right knee late in the second period, but stayed in the game. Even their misses, like Ovechkin's whiff on the power play, ended up in the back of the net thanks to the net presence of T.J. Oshie and Lars Eller. "We were just a step behind today, and you can't do that this time of year against a quality opponent". Just look at their second goal.

Only problem? The Lightning were whistled for too many men on the ice.

The Golden Knights have surprised everyone this year, and they should not be underestimated. The Capitals kicked off the scoring at the 7:28 mark of the first period when Michal Kempny got his first goal of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 21 of 25 shots after two periods before Louis Domingue relieved to start the third. "It was one of those things where, throughout the game, I think they outplayed us in all periods", Lightning forward Alex Killorn said.

The Stanley Cup Final is the NHL's signature event, and with the Eastern Conference Final underway and the Western Conference Final starting Saturday, the championship round is within sight.

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