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2011 NHL Playoffs: Tampa Bay Lightning and Washington Capitals Square Off

The NHL Eastern Conference Semifinals begin tonight, with the Tampa Bay Lightning (46-25-11, 103 Points, 5th East) taking on the Washington Capitals (48-23-11, 107 Points, 1st East) at the Verizon Center in DC. The Lightning, coming back from an improbable 3-1 deficit in the first round of the playoffs, now have an even more challenging task in taking on division-rival the Washington Capitals.

The Lightning and Caps both fought for first place in the Eastern Conference during the 2011 regular season, but the Caps came out on top after a late surge -- buoyed by the strong defensive play of goalie Michal Neuvirth. One obstacle the Lightning must crack tonight will be that very talent Czech goalie: Neuvirth had a Goal Allowed Average (GAA) of 1.38 in the first playoff series against the Rangers.

On paper, this match up certainly favor the Caps, but like John Fontana of Raw Charge said:

We're 0-0. Roloson's got a 0.00 and 0 shots faced in 0 games. Of course, reflection on a statistic as a base gives you a brief glimpse of what you may expect... but it guarantees nothing.

Location: Verizon Center, Washington, DC
Game Time: 7 p.m. ET
Broadcast: Sun Sports, Versus (cable), and 970 WFLA AM (radio)

For additional Lightning coverage, commentary, and community, head to Raw Charge.

Photographs by cstreet.us, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.