Hockey Night In Canada Stanley Cup Playoffs 2011

Turnovers, penalties costly for Capitals

Categories: Tampa Bay Lightning, WSH vs. TAM, Washington Capitals

Story Tools

Washington head coach Bruce Boudreau gives his team instructions during a timeout, but it didn't appear like his team absorbed them. (Greg Fiume/Getty Images) Washington head coach Bruce Boudreau gives his team instructions during a timeout, but it didn't appear like his team absorbed them. (Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

By Stephen Whyno

Even when they were down by a goal in the second period, the Tampa Bay Lightning never strayed from their system - particularly their 1-3-1 neutral zone trap.

So when the Washington Capitals started losing patience, coach Guy Boucher's Lightning took advantage of some Washington turnovers and missed opportunities and changed the tide of the game en route to their 4-2 victory.

"We got a little bit sloppy, had too many turnovers and they capitalized on them," Washington right wing Eric Fehr said.

Gagne concussed again?

Tampa Bay forward Simon Gagne took a clean hit from Capitals defenceman Scott Hannan about seven minutes into the first period but went down awkwardly, and his head hit the ice.

Lightning defender Pavel Kubina was injured with an elbow in the second, too, and Boucher said both players were back at the hotel safe and were scheduled to be re-evaluated Saturday.

Gagne's history of concussions dating back to his career with the Flyers is "a
concern, for sure - a real concern," general manager Steve Yzerman said.

Playing a little river hockey

When coach Bruce Boudreau and the Capitals shifted from an offensive, run-and-gun style to a more defensive, tight-checking one, it was to ensure winning hockey. Friday night was a reversion of sorts for Washington.

"You can't play river hockey, and I'm looking at this wasn't the way we play," Boudreau said. "It was reverting back to an older day."

The Capitals committed some ill-advised penalties and several neutral zone turnovers and couldn't find the offence to compensate - and it cost them Game 1.

Power outage

For seven games the Lightning frustrated the Penguins with their penalty kill, limiting Pittsburgh to one power-play goal on 35 chances. It was only one night, but the Capitals went 0-for-5 and rued their missed opportunities that could have changed the game.
"The power play, we had some chances," Capitals forward Jason Chimera said. "The power play could've buried them, and you can win any game."

Schultz's record comes to an end

Jeff Schultz had an amazing run come to an end Friday night with Steve Downie's goal at the 16:17 mark of the second. Schultz hadn't been on the ice for an opposing goal for 125:47 - seven games against the Rangers and almost two periods of Game 1 against the Lightning. That's a new Stanley Cup Playoffs record.

"It's nice, but in playoffs it's team first," Schultz said. "It's something I'll remember, but it's in the past now."

Stamkos bites Capitals

The Capitals said going into this series that they would have to stay out of the penalty box to avoid Tampa Bay's potent power play.

Alex Ovechkin blamed penalties (the Capitals took four) for the Game 1 defeat.

"I think we [took] too many bad penalties in [the] second period and it cost us the game," he said.

Stat of the night

When defenceman John Carlson left the game with an undisclosed injury (he's "day-to-day," according to Boudreau), that put a lot of pressure on all-star Mike Green.

Shouldering the load as the only offensive defenceman left, Green played 11:25 in the third period alone and wasn't playing his sharpest game as a result.

Stephen Whyno covers the Capitals for The Washington Times.