Caps score five straight to rattle Lightning
TAMPA, Fla.—The Capitals scored twice in the final 62 seconds of the second period to gain control, and Washington beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-2 on Sunday night, May 13, in Tampa, Fla., to take a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference finals.
Lars Eller and Evgeny Kuznetsov each had a goal and two assists for Washington while Tom Wilson and Alex Ovechkin added a goal and an assist apiece. Devante Smith-Pelly and Brett Connolly scored the Capitals' other goals.
The best-of-seven series shifts to Washington for Game 3 on Tuesday night, May 15.
Brayden Point and Steven Stamkos scored on power-play goals in the first period for Tampa Bay. They also each had an assist.
Capitals goalie Braden Holtby made 33 saves. Tampa Bay's Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 31 shots.
Eller scored the go-ahead goal with 1:02 remaining in the second period. Kuznetsov then tallied on a power play with 2.9 seconds to play in the period, with Ovechkin and Eller assisting, to put Washington on top 4-2.
It was the second time in as many games that the Capitals struck in the waning seconds of a period after they scored with 2.9 seconds remaining in the first period of Game 1.
Ovechkin's goal just 3:34 into the third period pushed the advantage to 5-2.
Wilson scored 28 seconds into the game, deflecting what looked like a rather routine delivery by defenseman Matt Niskanen from inside the blue line.
That was perhaps a jarring development given that the Capitals also had a strong start in Game 1.
The Lightning responded, taking the lead less than 10 1/2 minutes into the game.
Point scored to tie the game at 7:08 before Stamkos converted on a power play at 10:22. The second goal was set up by Nikita Kucherov's pass.
The Capitals were a bit disjoined early, taking three penalties in the first 12:06 of the game.
Smith-Pelly pulled Washington even just 2:50 into the second period.
Washington's John Carlson notched two assists, his 10th and 11th assist of the postseason.
Defenseman Victor Hedman assisted on the Lightning's first goal, giving him eight assists during the past seven games. The seven-game points streak is a Tampa Bay playoff franchise record.