Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Morning Playoff Notes (May 15)

If this playoff season has taught us anything, it's that this year's Washington Capitals are not the same team we have come to know and trust.  This Capitals team has been hard-nosed and battle ready and these Tampa Bay Lightning were clearly not prepared for what they were going to bring to the table.  Game 2 in Tampa Bay on Sunday night was quite the display from the visitors, as they got on the board early and despite being down one heading into the 2nd, the Capitals showed no fear and rather, they dominated the last 40 minutes of the game, dropping five unanswered goals in the final two frames.  A 6-2 final for the Capitals gives them a 2-0 series lead, as they head back home with a distinct advantage.

Lars Eller finally got another winning goal back into the hockey pool, as it has been a couple games since we've seen a bonus point, and he added a couple of assists as well, making it a 4-point night, great for the five teams that picked him up in the pool.  Also having notable nights for Washington were Evgeny Kuznetsov with 3 points and then Alex Ovechkin, Tom Wilson, John Carlson and Braden Holtby with 2 points a piece.  Steven Stamkos and Brayden Point each had a goal and an assist in the loss.

From what I got to see in Winnipeg on Monday night, there were two different teams on the ice, than what had suited up a couple of nights before.  The Golden Knights had shaken off the rust from their long layoff completely and the Jets appeared to be resting on their 1-0 series lead throughout the game and that little let down was enough to make Game 2 really favour the visitors.  The Golden Knights popped in two in the 1st, the Jets didn't respond until the 3rd, but even still, Vegas responded within a minute and a bit, restoring that 2-goal lead and that was really all there was.  A 3-1 victory for Vegas and a tied series, 1-1, heading back to Sin City.

Jonathan Marchessault scored a pair of goals, including the winner, for a 3-point night, Reilly Smith had a pair of assists and Marc-Andre Fleury made 30 saves for the win.

Tomas Tatar was reinserted back into the Vegas lineup on Tuesday night and scored a goal, but coming out of the lineup, as a healthy scratch, was Box 4 forward David Perron.  The move seemed to work wonders for the Golden Knights, so one might have to assume that this version of the lineup might remain for Game 3.

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