The Tampa Bay Lightning started off their second-round series with a 4-2 win over the Washington Capitals using great penalty killing and determination. The heavily-penalized Bolts killed five Capitals power plays, continuing a trend they started against the Pittsburgh Penguins, when they only allowed one power-play goal in 35 chances during their first-round series.
With an early goal in the first period by Sean Bergenheim, the Bolts asserted their presence against the top-seeded Capitals. Less than two minutes later, however, the Capitals quickly answered with a goal by Alexander Semin. The Bolts were able to hold the score at 1-1 for the rest of the first period, killing two penalties and having a goal by Washington's Brooks Laich disallowed after replay officials ruled it had been kicked into the net.
The Capitals increased their lead in the opening minutes of the second period when right wing Eric Fehr put the puck in the net off a botched faceoff in the Lightning end. Late in the period, Steve Downie scored the equalizer for Tampa Bay with a well-placed backhand over Capitals goalie Michal Neuvirth's right shoulder. Then with half a minute left in the second, Steven Stamkos followed suit with a backhand into the net off a roughing penalty against the Capitals.
In the third period, the Lightning survived two more Capitals power plays and finished the night off with Dominic Moore scoring into an empty net with seconds left for a 4-2 final.
The only times the Capitals scored were off of Lightning unforced errors. Alexander Semin's goal was off an easily intercepted pass made by Lightning defensemen Brett Clark. Eric Fehr's goal was a result of the Lightning misplacing their defensmen during a faceoff in Lightning territory. In fact, Fehr's goal has not been the first goal off a faceoff in the Lightning zone in the playoffs. Will this be the last?
Game 2 will be Sunday night at 7:00pm Eastern time from the Verizon Center in Washington as the Lightning look to take a surprising 2-0 lead in the series.