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The Washington Capitals came all the way back in their 2011 NHL Playoffs Game 2 contest against the Tampa Bay Lightning, tying the game at 2 with just a minute left in regulation thanks to an incredible goal by Alex Ovechkin. In the end, though, it was all for naught. Vincent Lecavalier scored his second goal of the game right in front of Michal Neuvirth just 6:19 into overtime, and the Lightning won 3-2 to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the series back to Tampa Bay.
The Capitals dominated the early portion of overtime, getting several great chances on net. However, the Lightning started to dominate, and scored in their classic quick-strike fashion. Randy Jones delivered a beautiful long pass ahead to Teddy Purcell, creating a two-on-one chance. Purcell then delivered a pass right in front of the net to Lecavalier, who patiently waited to deposit it past Neuvirth in the top right corner.
Lecavalier also put the Lightning up 1-0 with a really hard slap shot late in the first period. The Capitals tied the score when Brooks Laich scored on a rebound past Dwayne Roloson, but Tampa Bay took the lead on the power play when Martin St. Louis' pass went off Mike Green's skate and in. Ovechkin then tied the score with 1:07 remaining by crashing the net and scoring, but it was all for naught.
Game 3 is scheduled for Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in Tampa Bay.
The Capitals had a faceoff in the Lightning's zone with 1:43 remaining, and eventually were able to capitalize with a goal. Ovechkin lost his stick, picked up a right-handed one from a Lightning player and deposited a rebound home past Dwayne Roloson to tie the score at 2 with 1:07 remaining. It was Ovechkin's fourth goal of the playoffs, and it came right as Bruce Boudreau pulled goalie Michal Neuvirth.
It was a jolt of energy for a Capitals team that struggled for most of the third period. After a strong second period, the Capitals let up a bit at the beginning of the third period, and it eventually cost them. The Lightning crashed the zone, and Nicklas Backstrom failed to clear. Eventually, Martin St. Louis got the puck in the corner and threw it in front of the net. The puck glanced off Mike Green skate and in the back of the net, giving the Lightning a 2-1 lead with 12:25 remaining in the third period. Green compounded the problem by taking a poor roughing penalty hitting Steven Stamkos one minute later, forcing the Capitals to kill a Lightning power play.
The Lightning seemed energized in the next couple minutes, getting several chances on goal. Stamkos found St. Louis for a golden chance in front of the net, but Michal Neuvirth was able to kick it wide. Ovechkin tried to get things going, but his slap shot was gloved down by Dwayne Roloson.
As time wound down, the Capitals weren't ever to get any good chances on goal. Tampa Bay kept thwarting every single offensive rush, clearing the puck every time. Eventually, though, Ovechkin and the Capitals found a way to break through.
When it looked like nothing was going the Washington Capitals' way, they got a lucky break.
Brooks Laich tipped the puck past Dwayne Roloson during a scrum in front of the crease to bring the Caps back into a 1-1 tie with the Tampa Bay Lightning after 40 minutes.
The Caps had three more power play chances in the second period, but just like in the first period, they had nothing to show for it. Washington is 0-6 on the power play for the game and 0-11 in the series.
Laich made sure that the Caps got something on the scoreboard. A strong shift in the offensive zone kept Tampa Bay pinned in its defensive zone for too long. With the Caps pressuring Roloson with a scrum in front of the crease, Laich got just enough of the loose puck on his stick and it trickled past Roloson for his first goal of the playoffs at 14:52.
Washington had a 17-3 advantage in shots for the period and have a 27-9 shot advantage for the game.
Down 1-0 in their 2011 NHL Playoffs series with the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Washington Capitals held the advantage in scoring chances, but the Lightning struck first as they lead the Caps 1-0 after 20 minutes.
The Caps had three power play opportunities in the first period, but did not convert on any of them. Mike Knuble returned to the Caps' lineup for the first time in two weeks and made his presence felt by committing the game's first penalty. The Caps, however, did not have to kill it completely as Steve Downie took a holding penalty with 10 seconds left on the Lightning's power play. Washington had some quality scoring chances on its first power play, but failed to score. Blair Jones tripped Jason Chimera and the Caps had another power play chance, but only generated one shot on goal.
Not to be outdone, Brett Clark went to the box at the end of the Caps' second power play and the Caps got their third chance in five minutes, but once again did not convert. The Lightning got one more chance with the man advantage when Alex Ovechkin caught Mattias Ohlund with a high stick and they finally broke free when Vincent Lecavalier took a pass from Martin St. Louis and fired an absolute laser of a slap shot past Michal Neuvirth for his third goal of the playoffs at 19:01.
Shots are 10-6 in favor of Washington.
After a day of uncertainty, Mike Knuble will be back in the lineup for the Washington Capitals when they take on the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 2 of a second-round 2011 NHL Playoffs game. Knuble, who has been out of action since injuring his hand in Game 3 of the Capitals' first-round series win over the New York Rangers, is on the ice and warming up for the Capitals just 30 minutes before the game. Via Stephen Whyno of the Washington Times:
Mike Knuble is playing tonight, folks. He's wearing the A, took line rushes with Johansson, Ovechkin. #Caps
Knuble's status was a source of a little controversy earlier Sunday. He skated as if he was playing during the team's morning skate, but coach Bruce Boudreau did not say whether he would play. Then, Boudreau refused to say he would play in his pre-game media session two hours before gametime, getting angry with media members for consistently asking the question.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a brief press conference before Game 2 between the Washington Capitals and Tampa Bay Lightning, Capitals head coach Bruce Boudreau said that he expects both John Carlson and Mike Knuble to take warm-ups.
Carlson, who injured himself after he collided with Nate Thompson in Game 1, sat out of almost all of the third period in Friday's 4-2 loss and did not skate Saturday. Carlson, however, skated Sunday and it looks like his return is imminent.
Meanwhile, Knuble will take warm-ups for what Boudreau called an "inspiration." Knuble has not played since Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series with the New York Rangers with what is believed to be a hand injury. Knuble has been skating before practice and during practice with the scratches, but came off of the ice earlier than usual Sunday. When asked if Knuble will return to the lineup Sunday, Boudreau was blunt in response.
"I didn't say anything," Boudreau said. "I just said he's here. He's taking warm-up as an inspiration. I told you this morning what I told you here. Quit asking the question."
The Washington Capitals will catch a bit of a break on the injury front when they play the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 2 of their 2011 NHL Playoffs second-round series. Not only will defensemen John Carlson play after suffering an injury in the second period of Game 1 Friday, but the Lightning will be without two key veterans, as Left winger Simon Gagne and defensemen Pavel Kubina will not play in Game 2.
The concern with both is that they may have sustained concussions. Gagne in particular is worth worrying about after he took a vicious hit from Scott Hannan early in Game 1. Lightning coach Guy Boucher said that both are day-to-day and could return when the series shifts to Tampa Bay on Tuesday and Wednesday. In the meantime, Tampa Bay will have less depth up front and on its blue line.
The Washington Capitals have prided themselves on being "battle-tested" because of the way they overcame their own struggles to finish in first place in the Eastern Conference in the regular season. On Sunday night, they will need to summon that experience if they want to get back in their 2011 NHL Playoffs second-round series against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lightning stormed into Verizon Center Friday and took Game 1, 4-2. The Capitals will look to even things up Sunday at 7 p.m.
Washington took a 2-1 lead in the second period on Friday, but surrendered an own goal, allowed Tampa Bay to take the lead on the power play and reverted to bad habits. The Capitals were impatient against the Lightning's 1-3-1 zone trap in the third period and were not able to get many good shots on goal. They have preached the importance of staying patient in the days since, and they will need to practice that philosophy to get a Game 2 win.