NHL Playoffs 2011, Lightning Vs. Capitals: Washington Drops Game 1, 4-2

The Capitals held a 2-1 lead in the second period, but fell apart and allowed three straight goals to fall to the Tampa Bay Lightning, 4-2, in Game 1 of the second round of the 2011 NHL Playoffs.

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NHL Playoffs 2011: Missed Opportunities Haunt Capitals In Game 1 Loss To Lightning

A six-day layoff did not cost the Capitals in Game 1's 4-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Simply put, it was missed chances that allowed the Lightning to overcome a 2-1 deficit and take Game 1 on the road.

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NHL Playoffs 2011, Lightning Vs. Capitals Final Score: Washington Drops Game 1, 4-2

The Washington Capitals were in great shape against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the second period. Then, it all went away. The Lightning scored three straight goals to get a 4-2 victory in Game 1 of their 2011 NHL Playoffs first-round series. 

The Capitals led 2-1 in the second period, but then Scott Hannan surrendered an own goal, Steven Stamoks scored and the Lightning tacked on an empty-net goal with 40 seconds remaining to clinch it. Alexander Semin and Eric Fehr scored the two Capitals goals. 

The Capitals got a chance with 14:02 remaining when Brent Clark held the stick of Jason Arnott, but got absolutely nothing going on the power play, not even getting a shot off. The Lightning got a number of chances themselves, but couldn't convert. With 9:27 remaining, Nicklas Backstrom had a one-timer shot in the slot, but he pushed it wide. The Capitals went on a power play with 5:58 remaining after a penalty, but got nothing going and never really threatened much after that.

The Capitals outshot the Lightning, 28-24, but most of those shots came very early in the game. For the final period and a half, the Lightning completely outplayed the Capitals. Game 2 is Sunday night at 7 p.m.

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NHL Playoffs 2011, Lightning Vs. Capitals Score: Tampa Bay Races Ahead 3-2

Things looked so good for the Washington Capitals, and suddenly, they took a turn for the worst. The Lightning scored twice to close the period, turning a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 lead after three periods.

The Capitals got the second goal very quickly. Marcus Johansson got into the zone, and fed Jason Chimera, who curled behind the net and deposited a beautiful pass to Eric Fehr for the goal. It's Fehr's first goal of the postseason, and it displays the Capitals' forward depth, since Fehr is only playing because of Mike Knuble's injury.

The Lightning then got it into gear a bit, but couldn't score. Martin St. Louis took a pass from Steven Stamkos, but deposited it wide. Ryan Malone then ripped a slap shot that was saved by Michal Neuvirth. Later, Vincent Lecavalier had a wide open shot from point-blank range, but Neuvirth stoned his backhand attempt. 

Bu then it all started to go wrong for the Capitals. First, Scott Hannan got his skate in the way, allowing a centering pass by Steve Downie to get by Neuvirth. Then, late in the period, Jason Chimera was called for roughing, and the Lightning capitalized, as Stamkos got his first goal of the period. 

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NHL Playoffs 2011, Lightning Vs. Capitals Score: Alexander Semin Scores, Game Tied At 1

It was a wild first period in Game 1 of the 2011 NHL Playoffs series between the Washington Capitals and Tampa Bay Lightning. Both teams scored quickly, and after one period, the score is tied at one.

The Lightning didn't take very long to get on the board. The Capitals turned the puck over, and the Lightning had a chance right in front of Michal Neuvirth. In the end, Sean Bergenheim stuffed the puck past Neuvirth to give the Lightning a 1-0 lead just two minutes and 12 seconds into the game. Steve Downie and Mike Lundin got the assists 

But the Capitals responded very quickly. The Lightning committed a turnover, and Alexander Semin picked it up in the Lightning's zone. He then fired a wrist shot between Dwayne Roloson's legs and past him to tie the game at 1 at the 15:52 mark of the first period. It was Semin's fourth goal of the playoffs and it was unassisted.

The Capitals slowly took control of the game, and looked to break through with their second goal with 6:26 remaining. Mike Green held the puck in and fired a slapshot that was saved by Roloson. However, the puck was batted down by a defensemen right in front, and Brooks Laich put it through to give the Capitals a 2-1 lead. The goal was put under review, though, and it was determined that Laich kicked the puck in with his skate. The goal was taken off the board.

The Capitals had many chances after that, getting two power plays for their spoils. But they couldn't score, and had one shot hit off the post.

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NHL Playoffs 2011, Lightning Vs. Capitals: Washington Looks For 1-0 Series Lead

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.

We will have live updates from the Verizon Center and more in this StoryStream. For more on the series, check out our Capitals vs. Lightning series page, featuring our series preview

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