Finally, the second round of the 2011 NHL Playoffs can begin. For several days, the Washington Capitals had no idea who their second-round opponent would be. Last Saturday, they polished off the New York Rangers in five games, then waited four days until the rest of the Eastern Conference playoffs were settled. Eventually, they found out that they would face the Tampa Bay Lightning in Round 2. On Friday night, those two teams will do battle in Game 1 at 7 p.m. on Versus.
It's not the Penguins, but the Lightning are a very intriguing opponent. They used a high-powered offense to race to the Southeast Division lead for most of the season before the Capitals caught them with their hot finish. They also are not backing down, and in fact have already begun some gamesanship. This will not be an easy series for the Capitals, not by any means.