Sunday, May 20, 2018

Morning Playoff Notes (May 20)

Well, if there was a script for this Eastern Conference Finals, through four games, the Tampa Bay Lightning certainly didn't like what they were seeing, so they crumpled up the script and threw it out the window.  The home teams hadn't won a game in this series through the first four and it was acting more like a disadvantage... until Game 5, that is.

The Lightning struck 19 seconds into the game, likely before some people even made it to their seats in the building, and whatever game plan that the Capitals may have had for that game, was also scratched and they had to go back to the drawing board.  Still, the Lightning continued to pour it on, adding one more in the 1st, scoring again 33 seconds into the 2nd period, taking any regrouping away from the Capitals, that they may have gained at the break.  Once up 3-0, it was time for the Lightning to shut it down.

It was a tall task to try and shut down this Capitals offense and frankly, the Lightning were doing so well holding onto the puck, that giving the Caps their chances were only going to result in some offense, Washington is too good of a team not to.  As expected, the Capitals got one before the 2nd intermission, making it a 2-goal game into the 3rd.  Credit to the Lightning though, they did manage to hold on and withstand a full-on barrage, but Alex Ovechkin made it a 3-2 game with 1:36 to go, but it wasn't quite enough.

Andrei Vasilevskiy made 28 saves and the Lightning took Game 5, 3-2, and the series is now in their favour, 3-2 as well.

It wasn't a great game for the hockey pool, the Bolts keeper was the only notable player in the game, as non-pool forward Ryan Callahan scored the winner and added an assist for a 3-point game (if he was in the pool) and that was it.

Caps forward Andre Burakovsky was pulled out of the lineup as a healthy scratch in this one, his ice-time hasn't been all that great in this series and Washington was hoping that Alex Chiasson would provide more of a spark.

Game 6 goes on Monday night, a 6pm MT start.

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