Hockey Night In Canada Stanley Cup Playoffs 2011

Lightning take advantage of mistake

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

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Tampa Bay Lightning's Vincent Lacavalier, second from left, celebrates his goal with the team during the overtime period in Game 2 on Sunday in Washington. The Lightning won 3-2. (Alex Brandon/Associated Press) Tampa Bay Lightning's Vincent Lacavalier, second from left, celebrates his goal with the team during the overtime period in Game 2 on Sunday in Washington. The Lightning won 3-2. (Alex Brandon/Associated Press)
By Stephen Whyno

The two-on-one rush Tampa Bay's Teddy Purcell and Vinny Lecavalier used to score the game-winner in overtime probably never should have happened.

Tired Capitals defenceman Scott Hannan went for a change, Randy Jones saw the opening and found Purcell. The rest was elementary, as Purcell and Lecavalier beat Mike Green and then Michal Neuvirth to take a 2-0 lead in the series.

"I'll take blame for that," Hannan said. "I should have stayed on the ice, and it would have been a dead play probably."

St. Louis was due

Marty St. Louis didn't become a Hart Trophy finalist by experiencing a lot of scoring droughts. Tampa Bay's speedy, skilled veteran right wing hadn't scored in four games. Earlier in the day coach Guy Boucher said: "It's better that he doesn't score because that means it's coming." It came. And while St. Louis' goal banked in off Green's skate, it counts just the same and could lead to some bigger things for him the rest of the series.

Brownout on the power play


Mike Knuble admitted it - the Capitals should have never been in overtime to begin with. They had six power plays but were unable to cash in on any of them.

"At times we were doing the right things; at times we weren't. It was ugly at times," he said. "That was the difference tonight."

Washington is now 0-for-11 on the power play this series, 3-for-27 these playoffs and 4-for-60 dating to its first-round series vs. Montreal last season.

Roloson shines again


While the Capitals dominated much of the game in five-on-five play, Dwayne Roloson was more than up to the task. The 41-year-old goalie finished with 35 saves on 37 shots.

"He's been making a lot of great saves in these playoffs," Boucher said.

Many were routine as the Lightning prevented some quality chances, but even when the Capitals busted through Roloson was more or less a wall back there - reminiscent of his 2006 run with the Oilers that may have ended with a Stanley Cup had it not been for his knee injury.

All the momentum

St. Louis' marker sucked the energy out of Verizon Center, but Alex Ovechkin energized the place with his tying goal with 1:07 left in the third. At that point, the Capitals were feeling good.

"I think we all felt pretty excited about that and we've been in a situation like that before and we've won a few overtime games," defenceman Karl Alzner said. "So we knew that it was kind of our time."

They even dominated much of the overtime, until the line change cost them dearly.

Capitals still confident


Recent history is the Capitals' friend down 2-0 to the Lightning. Two seasons ago Washington fell into the same hole in the first round against the Rangers and won in seven games. Some players said that's too long ago to draw from, but that may be the talk before Game 3.

"We're definitely not out of it," forward Brooks Laich said. "It's a tough loss, but we're gonna regroup and come back on Tuesday."

Stephen Whyno covers the Capitals for The Washington Times. Follow him on Twitter at @SWhyno.