Capitals' power play continues to struggle
WASHINGTON -- The Capitals' power play has been a lightning rod for criticism early in this series, as it has come up empty on 11 straight chances. Even though Boston somehow managed to emerge from the first round without scoring a power-play goal against Montreal, it's seemingly a safe bet that the Caps will not come back against Tampa without getting production from their power-play unit.
"We're trying. We're trying different things, trying to make things work," Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau said. "Obviously, it's not. It's not like [the Bolts are] bad penalty killers -- they stopped 35 out of 36 in Pittsburgh. We've just got to keep going at it."
(The Lightning actually killed off 34 of 35 Penguins power plays in the first round.)
"I thought we stuck with it," added Mike Knuble, who saw his first action since Game 3 of the first round, as he was out with an apparent hand injury. "Guys weren't complaining on the bench or anything. We know we have the guys who can do it, and it's a question of executing it. Guys want to score. There's frustration that they're not scoring. We expect a lot out of our power play."
Tampa coach Guy Boucher described the keys to their penalty killing in Game 2 as being a combination of great goaltending and luck.
No panic in overtime
Vincent Lecavalier's overtime winner was the second of his career. His first came in this same building during Game 3 of the Lightning's 2003 playoff series against the Caps. In that series, the Caps led 2-0, but the Lightning won four straight games.
"I went on the ice, and I saw Teddy Purcell was going to get that loose puck," Lecavalier said of his big goal Sunday. "I was just hoping he'd get it by that defenseman, and he did. I just tried to get it high on [Caps goalie Michal Neuvirth]. Last game I tried to go between his legs, and he's so good down low, I said, 'If I maybe try to put it high, maybe I'll have a chance,' and it went in."
Lecavalier said there was no panic in the dressing room between the end of the third period and overtime.
"We kind of went through it against Pittsburgh," he said. You know, you go into overtime if it's your first time, maybe you panic, but I think everybody in there reloaded and got back to realizing the situation. It's 2-2; you still have a chance to win. You just need one good chance, and that's what happened."
'Rest is a weapon'
The Lightning were planning to take Monday off as they hope to conserve energy before back-to-back games Tuesday and Wednesday. Boucher said he was happy to see Lecavalier end Game 2 when he did.
"We need rest. Rest is a weapon, and it's something we need now," Boucher said. We told the players we don't want to see them until Tuesday. It's been very, very tough, I'll be honest. I don't think we could have gone on another period."