NHL Playoffs 2011 Schedule: Capitals To Face Tampa Bay Lightning In Second Round

The Capitals will face the Tampa Bay Lightning in the second round, with the series beginning on Friday. Here is the complete schedule.

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NHL Playoffs Schedule: Capitals Vs. Lightning Play Back-To-Back Games Due To South Florida Graduation

The 2011 NHL Playoffs schedule for the second-round series between the Washington Capitals and the Tampa Bay Lightning included a peculiar twist: Games 3 and 4 in Tampa Bay were scheduled for back-to-back nights on Tuesday, May 2 and Wednesday, May 3. Normally, the NHL does everything possible to avoid this kind of scenario, and there isn't an NBA team in Tampa Bay that could cause an arena conflict. 

So why are the Capitals and Lightning playing back-to-back games? Because of a graduation. According to Steve Whyno of the Washington Times, the arena is booked for Thursday night for the University of South Florida's commencement.

Game 3 is set for Tuesday night at St. Pete Times Forum, while Game 4 will be Wednesday night. Game 4 cannot be Thursday because the arena is booked for the University of South Florida's spring commencement ceremonies. The school's on-ice arena is being refurbished, so this is the first year USF's graduation is at the Forum.  

Game 5 also has a conflict that caused it to be moved up to 12:30 p.m. NBC is showing the Kentucky Derby later in the day, forcing the early start. These two factors in part explain one of the wackier series schedules we'll see in some time.

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NHL Playoffs 2011 Schedule, Round 2: Capitals Vs. Lightning To Begin Friday

The 2011 NHL Playoffs schedule for the second round has now been set. The Washington Capitals and Tampa Bay Lightning will begin their series on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. at the Verizon Center. The game will be televised on TSN in Canada and Versus in the United States.

The Lightning advanced to the second round with a 1-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 7 on the road on Wednesday. The Lightning trailed the shorthanded Penguins in the series, 3-1, but rallied with wins in Game 5 and 6 before holding off a furious Penguins charge down the stretch in Game 7. The Capitals were 4-1-1 against the Lightning in the regular season.

Here is the complete schedule, per TSN and NBC Washington's Dan Hellie:

Game 1: Friday, April 29 at 7 p.m., Versus, TSN

Game 2: Sunday, May 1 at 7 p.m., Versus, CBS

Game 3: Tuesday, May 3, time TBA, TSN, CSN

Game 4: Wednesday, May 4 at 7 p.m., TSN, CSN

Game 5 (if necessary): Saturday, May 7 at 12:30, NBC, TSN

Game 6 (if necessary): Monday, May 9, time TBA, CSN, Versus, TSN

Game 7 (if necessary): Wednesday, May 11, time TBA, CSN, Versus, TSN

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NHL Playoffs 2011 Second-Round Matchups: Capitals To Face Tampa Bay Lightning In Second Round

Finally, the second round of the 2011 NHL Playoffs have been completed. The Washington Capitals will face a division rival, as they will take on the No. 5 seed Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lightning advanced by rallying from a 3-1 series deficit and defeat the No. 4 seed Pittsburgh Penguins, taking Game 7 on Pittsburgh's home ice, 1-0. Dwyane Roloson was spectacular, and the Lightning held off a Penguins power play at the end of the game to win it.

The matchup is certainly an intriguing one for the Capitals, though it of course is not as dramatic as a matchup with the Penguins. The Lightning held the Southeast Division lead for much of the season, but the Capitals caught and overtook them down the stretch, winning the division by four points. The Capitals won three times in regulation and once in a shootout, while the Lightning won once in regulation and once in overtime this season.

The Montreal Canadiens could have been the Capitals' opponent had they won in Game 7 against the Boston Bruins. The Canadiens looked poised to do that when they tied the game at 3 with 1:57 remaining in the third period on a slap shot by P.K. Subban. However, the Bruins won in early in overtime on a goal by Nathan Horton just 5:43 minutes into the period. The win ensured the Bruins would face the Philadelphia Flyers, leaving the Capitals to face the Penguins-Lightning winner.

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NHL Playoffs 2011 Scenarios For Which Team Capitals Will Play Next

The Washington Capitals wrapped up their series against the New York Rangers on Saturday, and they still do not know who they will play in the second round of the 2011 NHL Playoffs. We will find out the answer for sure on Wednesday, when the rest of the first round will be decided.

We do know for sure that it will not be the Buffalo Sabres. The No. 7 seed blew a 3-2 series lead against the Philadelphia Flyers, losing Game 7, 5-2, on Tuesday. The Sabres would have automatically faced the Capitals had they won because of the NHL's policy of re-seeding for the second round.

Instead, the Capitals' opponent will depend on a pair of Game 7s on Wednesday. The Montreal Canadiens, the No. 6 seed, won Game 6 against the No. 3 seeded Boston Bruins on Tuesday, sending the series back to Beantown. If the Canadiens win, they will face the Capitals for a second straight season. We all know what happened last year.

If the Bruins win? Then, the Capitals will face the winner of the Game 7 between the No. 4 seed Pittsburgh Penguins and No. 5 seed Tampa Bay Lightning. Both of those matchups offer a ton of intrigue, as does a series against Montreal. We'll find out the answer for sure Wednesday.

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NHL Playoffs 2011: Mike Knuble Injury Still Day-To-Day, Dennis Wideman Skates Tuesday

WASHINGTON D.C. - The Washington Capitals are the only Eastern Conference team that have advanced to the second round and while they wait for their opponent to be determined, the players took part in a full practice Tuesday at Kettler Capitals Iceplex.

Mike Knuble and Dennis Wideman, who are both recovering from injury, skated before practice. Knuble stayed on the ice and joined his teammates for practice, but was not assigned to a specific line. Knuble missed Games 4 and 5 of Washington's first round series with the New York Rangers with what is believed to be a hand injury.

"I've been skating everyday, just trying to keep my legs up and stuff," Knuble said. "I'm encouraged by the way things are going. I'm day-to-day. It's a terrible answer, but it's what I got to say. There's a fine line between coming back and helping and coming back and hurting the team, so that's my main concern."

Meanwhile, Wideman left the ice after about 15 minutes. Head coach Bruce Boudreau said later that he was feeling "lightheaded." Wideman has not played since March 29 when he suffered a leg hematoma after a collision with the Carolina Hurricanes' Tuomo Ruutu.

Conspicuous in his absence was Alexander Semin, who did not practice Tuesday. Boudreau said that Semin is suffering from "a little bit of the flu" and was told to say home and rest.

Mike Green also skated for the Capitals despite taking a slap shot to the head in Game 5 vs. the Rangers. For more on Green, check out this StoryStream.

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