Capitals Ground Lightning 4-2, Take 1-0 Series Lead

Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Washington Capitals beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-2, in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals. The Capitals lead the series 1-0, with Game two is set for Sunday night. 

The Caps opened the scoring with goals from Michal Kempny and Alex Ovechkin in the opening frame, to take a 2-0 lead into the first intermission. Jay Beagle and Lars Eller added early goals in the middle frame to make it 4-0 at the second intermission. The Lightning would get on the scoreboard early in the third period and add another tally midway through the third to make it 4-2, the final.

Braden Holtby (8-3, 2.04 GAA, .926 sv%) started between the pipes for the Capitals. Andrei Vasilevskiy (8-2, 2.20 GAA, .927 sv%) started in goal for the Lightning. The Capitals starting forward lines and defensive pairs for Game 1:

Forward lines:
Defensive pairs:

Scratches: Nicklas Backstrom (right hand), Travis Boyd, Nathan Walker, Shane Gersich, Madison Bowey, Pheonix Copley and Jakub Jerebek.

The Capitals opened the scoring with a goal from Michal Kempny at 7:28 of the opening frame. Evgeny Kuznetsov and John Carlson were credited with the assists.

Shots on goal were 5-1 Caps with 8:21 remaining in the opening frame.

Alex Ovechkin would give the Capitals a 2-0 lead with a power play goal off of the faceoff with 3 seconds left in the period.

The period would end with the Capitals leading 2-0. Shots on goal were 9-2 in favor of the Capitals. The Capitals were 1 for 1 and the Lightning 0 for 1 on the power play.

The Capitals would stretch their lead to 3-0 with a goal from Jay Beagle at 2:40 of the second period. Brett Connolly and Dmitry Orlov were credited with the helpers.

The Capitals would make it 4-0 with a power play goal from Lars Eller at 6:42 of the middle frame. T.J. Oshie and Alex Ovechkin were credited with the assists.

The period would end with the Capitals leading 4-0. The Capitals led in shots on goal 25-10 after two periods of play.

The Lightning replaced Andrei Vasilevskiy with Louis Domingue to start the third period. The Lightning would finally get on the scoreboard with a power play goal from Steven Stamkos at 3:45 of the final frame.

The Lightning would make it 4-2 with a goal from Ondrej Palat at 13:03 of the final frame.

And that would be the final.


  • The Capitals scored four goals on their first 15 shots and held off a late rally to win Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final.
  • Alex Ovechkin scored his 55th career postseason goal to pass Nicklas Lidstrom, Rick MacLeish and Steve Thomas (all w/ 54) for sole possession of 44th place on the NHL’s all-time list.
  • The Capitals lead the NHL this postseason with 15 power play goals and have scored a power play goal in 11 of their 13 games in the playoffs.
  • The Capitals improved to 6-1 on the road in the 2018 #StanleyCup  Playoffs, outscoring opponents 24-15 in those contests.
  • NHL box score is here.


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About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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13 Responses to Capitals Ground Lightning 4-2, Take 1-0 Series Lead

  1. Diane Doyle says:

    Great first two periods for Caps. Although the end of the first was a psychological downer for Tampa Bay to first score what looked like the tying goal only to have it called back for “Too Many Men”, set up a power play, and almost immediately give up a power play goal. It seemed like it was a “Murphy’s Law” type of game for the Lightning. Bolts struck back. While the Caps had their share of errors in the third, Bolts were better able to capitalize on their third period chances.

    At least the Caps locked it down near the end to TB couldn’t really get a good set up in the empty net situation.

    Well done, boys. Three more wins to go.

  2. WGT!!!!

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