Lightning beat Caps in OT, take 2-0 series leadMay 2, 2011 - 3:26 AM
Randy Jones took advantage of a slow Capitals shift change, flipping a pass from deep inside his own zone up to Teddy Purcell at the Washington blue line. Purcell was free to down the left wing, then feed to Lecavalier in front for a shot that was chipped over Michal Neuvirth for the winner.
"It means a lot. Once again they played a great game," Lecavalier said when asked if it was important to snag two games on the road to begin this series. "They came after us, but 'Rolie' made some huge saves all night. Even in overtime, they played pretty solid. We took advantage of our chances."
Martin St. Louis added a goal and one assist for the Lightning, who won both games in Washington and can put a stranglehold on the series with Games 3 and 4 this week in Florida.
Purcell collected two assists and Dwayne Roloson stopped 35-of-37 shots as Tampa posted its fifth consecutive win in these playoffs.
Brooks Laich and Alex Ovechkin tallied for the Capitals, while Neuvirth made just 20 stops in defeat.
"The series is not over. We're going to go there and we're going to have to win two games and it's going to be hard. We have to win," Ovechkin said defiantly.
After Washington failed to click on three straight power plays, Tampa used its second chance with the advantage to take a 1-0 lead inside the final minute of the first.
Stationed between the bottom of the circles, St. Louis fed Lecavalier in the near the right faceoff dot, and his rising slap shot sailed past traffic and over Neuvirth's glove inside the right post.
Three more Capitals power plays fell by the wayside in the second until the game-tying score with 5:08 left. Nicklas Backstrom fired from 15 feet, and though Roloson got his blocker up to deflect the shot, Laich managed to bat the puck down and across the goal line.
"The most important penalty killer is your goaltender," noted Bolts head coach Guy Boucher. "We also got lucky. Goaltending and luck had a lot to do with this."
St. Louis gave Tampa a 2-1 edge at 7:35 of the third period, when his centering feed from near the goal line on the left side caromed off Capitals defenseman Mike Green's skate and in.
Neuvirth went to the bench for an extra skater as the clock ticked under two minutes left, and Ovechkin chipped a loose puck under the crossbar with 1:08 to go.
"I thought we had the momentum, quite frankly, for about 45 minutes of this game," said Caps head coach Bruce Boudreau. "I felt very comfortable going into overtime."
This is the first time in franchise history that the Lightning have won the first two games in a series on the road...Washington's power play was 0-for-6 in the game and has come up empty in 11 chances through the first two contests...The Lightning were without forward Simon Gagne and defenseman Pavel Kubina. Both were listed as day-to-day, with Blair Jones and Randy Jones filling the roster spots accordingly...Caps forward Mike Knuble returned to the lineup after a three-game absence with an upper-body injury believed to be a hand issue...The Capitals last dropped the first two games of a playoff series at home against the Rangers in 2009, but turned a 1-3 deficit into a seven-game victory in the East quarterfinals.
- TAMPA BAY: 3
Final - OT
May 1 10:00 PM
- Tampa Bay Goal - Vincent Lecavalier, at 6:19.
Lightning 3, Capitals 2 OT - 13:41May 1 9:57 PM
- Washington Goal - Alex Ovechkin (4), at 18:53.
Lightning 2, Capitals 2 3rd - 1:07May 1 9:38 PM
- Steven Stamkos snap shot is wide.
Lightning 2, Capitals 1 3rd - 11:18May 1 9:37 PM
- TAMPA BAY: 1
End of 2nd
May 1 9:35 PM
- Karl Alzner shot blocked by Steven Stamkos.
Lightning 1, Capitals 1 2nd - 3:08May 1 9:35 PM
- TAMPA BAY: 1
End of 1st
May 1 7:46 PM
- Tampa Bay Power-Play Goal - Vincent Lecavalier (3), at 19:03.
Lightning 1, Capitals 0 1st - 0:57May 1 7:44 PM
- TAMPA BAY: 0
1st Period - 19:42
May 1 7:11 PM
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