Lightning-Capitals: What to make of Andrei Vasilevskiy's Game 1


The best way to beat Tampa Bay is to do something that throws them off their game, or be particularly skilled at something the Lightning leave themselves open to. The Lightning excel at playing keep away, which means that the Washington defenders will be under heavy pressure all series long. The Capitals were relentless going after the puck and it paid off big time for them.

Both the Lightning and Capitals prefer offense-friendly styles of play led by a number of players capable of producing memorable goals. The top line of Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos and J.T. Miller scored four goals in the series, but three came in the deciding Game 5.

The Jets aren't out of the series by any stretch of the imagination, but there is little going for them ahead of the most crucial game of their season. Norris Trophy finalist Victor Hedman can take over a game at either end of the ice, Anton Stralman continues to provide a steadying force on the blueline and a former weakness for the Lightning now appears to be one of their strengths.

The Lightning advanced to the conference final with a series win over the Boston Bruins.

That was bad news for meteorologist Megan Wise, a Penguins fan, who may have been a little too cocky when she agreed to a friendly wager over the series with On Your Side reporter and Capitals fan Rachel DePompa. The Washington Capitals organization began play during the 1974-75 season and has never hoisted the Stanley Cup. The Capitals on the other hand were able to limit Crosby/Guentzel and pretty much eliminate Letang, Malkin and Kessel.

It's hard to predict a Stanley Cup Champion this season because any one of these four teams could win it all.

The weaknesses of this Washington team are all on the back end.

Again, it's about balance for Washington.

They can continue to get contributions from everyone, not just from Ovechkin, Oshie and Kuznetsov.

Pickup truck hits Southwest Airlines' plane on BWI runway Monday morning
Jennifer Riordan, 43 of New Mexico, was partially sucked out of the broken window before passengers were able to pull her back in. Passengers got off the plane using air stairs that are pulled to the aircraft, the aviation safety agency said.

"He wants to win a Cup", forward Chandler Stephenson said.

The Capitals seized control of Friday's contest on a freakish sequence that included a Tampa goal waived off for a too-many-men-on-the-ice penalty. We can tell you Kelly is leaning over, but has a strong puck-line pick, and you won't discover his reasons buried in any box score.

The incredible story of the Vegas Golden Knights continues. Let's take a look at three takeaways from the first game of the Eastern Conference Final. How do you explain Vegas beating San Jose 7-0 and then San Jose coming back and winning the next night? His GAA is second to only Marc-Andre Fleury. Winnipeg's depth is also going to cause problems. Tampa had 10 shots on goal through two periods, which was the fewest through the first 40 minutes in any game this season, including the playoffs.

The difference here comes down to the penalty kill. Washington leads the best of seven series, 1-0.

Down 2-0 and heading to Columbus in round one, things were looking bleak.

Lightning coach Jon Cooper said earlier in the week the Lightning can not make a habit of losing Game 1 of the series.

Nicklas Backstrom missed Game 1 of the Eastern Conference with a right-hand injury suffered while blocking a shot in the second round. "Right now, there's satisfaction we beat the Stanley Cup champions finally and now we'll move forward to play a very good team".

The Jets got tremendous defensive play on the road in this series and the goaltending was superb with Connor Hellebuyck continuing a Vezina-quality season. After what we've seen over two rounds, it is safe to say that numerous assumptions that we came into the playoffs with regarding the Caps can be thrown out the window.