Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Washington Capitals
The Washington Capitals are -180 favorites over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals. The over/under goal total is set at 5.
Tampa Bay opened round two of the playoffs with a 4-2 road victory over Washington for a 1-0 series lead with game two scheduled for this evening in DC. Four different players lit the lamp for the Lightning with Steven Stamkos, Sean Bergenheim, Dominic Moore and Steve Downie doing the honors. Dwayne Roloson continued his steady work between the pipes with 26 saves as the Lightning looked to have carried over some momentum from their series win over the Penguins in which they trailed 3-1. Washington received goals from Alexander Semin and Eric Fehr while Michal Neuvirth stopped 20 shots in defeat.
Tampa Bay scored first at 2:12 of the opening frame when Downie drove hard on Neuvirth from the left but his attempt to muscle the puck in was blocked but the rebound landed on the stick of Bergenheim who sent it home. The Capitals wasted no time, evening the score just two minutes later when the Lightning saw their attempt to clear the zone tipped with the end result being Semin taking the puck and sending a wrist shot on net that barely got by Roloson. Washington took the lead less than two minutes in to the middle frame when Jason Chimera threw a pass out front to Fehr who slammed the puck home to go up 2-1.
Tampa Bay knotted it once again with 3:43 left in the second when Downie flipped one in close in on Roloson’s stick side. The Lightning took the lead for good with just 31 ticks remaining in the second period when Stamkos drove a centering pass from Eric Brewer in to the back of the net on the power play. It was all Tampa Bay after that as they controlled the ice for the most part over the final 20 minutes with Moore ending any mystery with an empty net tally with under a minute to play. A few trends continued and a few ended as Washington surrendered their only first period goal of the postseason and Tampa Bay keeps up their solid play away from home standing at 4-1 now.
The Capitals arguably were a bounce or two away from another goal or two and possibly a win but a few posts stopped them. A first period goal was disallowed after it was ruled to be kicked in so the opportunities were there. Tampa Bay will likely be without the services of Simon Gagne and Pavel Kubina who were injured in the opener.
I will take Washington today and lay the 180. The Capitals have shown so far that they are the better team. I feel confident in them pulling this one out.
Washington Capitals -180 Tampa Bay Lightning
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