Stanley Cup Playoffs: Capitals go up 2-0 vs. Lightning

By Alex Butler  |  May 14, 2018 at 6:04 AM
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May 14 (UPI) -- The Washington Capitals are two wins from the Stanley Cup finals after beating the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals.

Washington is up 2-0 in the series after the 6-2 win Sunday at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla.

"We knew it doesn't matter what's going to happen, we just have to play our game," Capitals star Alex Ovechkin told reporters. "You can see when they scored their second goal. We didn't panic. We just stuck to our system and played the right way and got the result."

Tom Wilson gave the Capitals an early lead, scoring just 28 seconds into regulation. Matt Niskanen rifled in a shot from the point and Wilson deflected it along the way, beating Andrei Vasilevskiy for the first score.

The Lightning evened it up 7:08 into the first frame, getting a score from Brayden Point. Steven Stamkos scored another for the home squad 10:22 into the period, giving the Lightning a 2-1 lead.

Washington owned the second frame, getting scores from Devante Smith-Pelly, Lars Eller and Evgeny Kuznetsov. The Capitals took the 4-2 edge into the third period.

Ovechkin increased that advantage to 5-2 with a score 3:34 into the final frame. Kuznetsov and Ovechkin went on a two-on-one breakaway to setup the score. Kuznetsov skated down the right flank, before sending a pass to Ovechkin at the back post. Ovechkin finished the feed with a lightning quick one-timer past Vasilevskiy's left skate.

The Capitals got their final score with 7:03 remaining. Eller flipped a pass through the air to Brett Connolly on that play. Connolly ripped a beautiful one-timer over Vasilevskiy's shoulder to convert for the Capitals' sixth tally.

"I think we play the right way. I think we've understood that we have to play a certain way," Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. "I think we play quick. We don't try to complicate stuff too much, when it comes to the road games. I don't think in playoffs you can complicate it too much. You have to have detail and you have to have your system in place and you have to have the commitment and all that and I think we have that."

Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals is at 8 p.m. Tuesday at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C.

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