Capitals Blast Lightning 6-2, Take 2-0 Series Back to Washington

Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images

The Washington Capitals beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-2 Sunday night at Amalie Arena in Tampa. The win gives the Capitals a 2-0 series lead in the Eastern Conference Finals. Game 3 is set for Tuesday night at Capital One Arena in Washington. 

The Capitals struck just 28 seconds into the contest before the Lightning added two power play goals to take a 2-1 lead into the first intermission. The Capitals would tie the game early in the middle frame with a breakaway goal by Devante Smith-Pelly. The Capitals would add late goals by Lars Eller and a power play goal by Evgeny Kuznetsov to lead 4-2 at the second intermission. The Capitals added an early goal in the third by Alex Ovechkin and a late goal by Brett Connolly for the 6-2 win.

Braden Holtby (9-3, 2.04 GAA, .925 sv%) started between the pipes for the Capitals. Andrei Vasilevskiy (8-3, 2.43 GAA, .920 sv%) started in goal for the Lightning. The Capitals starting forward lines and defensive pairs for Game 2:

Forward lines:
Defensive pairs:

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

The Capitals struck quick with a goal from Tom Wilson just 28 seconds into the contest. Wilson redirected a shot from the right point by Matt Niskanen, but the Lightning would answer seven minutes later to tie the game. Matt Niskanen and Evgeny Kuznetsov were credited with the helpers.

The Lightning would tie the game with a power play goal from Brayden Point at 7:08 of the opening frame.

The Lightning would grab a 2-1 lead with another power play goal, this time by Steven Stamkos at 10:22 of the first period.

The period would end with the Lightning leading 2-1. Tampa Bay outshot Washington 13-10 after 20 minutes of play. The Lightning were 2 for 2 and the Capitals 0 for 0 on the power play. Tampa Bay led the faceoff battle 64-36 after 20 minutes of play.

The Capitals would tie the game early in the middle frame with a goal from Devante Smith-Pelly, making it 2-2. Alex Chiasson and John Carlson were credited with the helpers.

The Capitals would take the lead with a goal from Lars Eller at 18:58 of the middle frame.

The Capitals would stretch their lead to 4-2 with a power play goal from Evgeny Kuznetsov just as time was expiring in the second period.

The Capitals led 4-2 at the end of two periods of play. The Capitals outshot the Lightning 13-8 for the middle frame, and led 23-21 after two periods.. Tampa Bay was 2 for 3 and the Capitals 1 for 2 on the power play after 40 minutes of play. The Lightning were leading the faceoff battle 57-33% after 40 minutes of play.

The Capitals would stretch their lead to 5-2 early in the final frame with a goal from Alex Ovechkin at 3:34 of the final frame.

Brett Connolly would make it 6-2 with a goal at 12:57 of the final frame.

That would be the final. Shots on goal were 37-35 in favor of the Capitals. The Lightning won the faceoff battle 56-44%.


  • Tom Wilson puts the Caps on the board just 28 seconds into the contest. That’s the second-fastest goal the Capitals have scored to start a game this postseason (Evgeny Kuznetsov: 17 seconds, Game 1 versus Pittsburgh).
  • John Carlson collected his 13th point of the 2018 StanleyCup  Playoffs to establish a Capitals franchise record for points by a defenseman in single postseason.
  • In the conference era (since 1974-75), teams that hold a 2-0 series lead in the Conference Finals/Semifinals own an all-time series record of 39-2.
  • The 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 Blast Lightning 6-2, Take 2-0 Series Back to Washington

  1. Diane Doyle says:

    Great win. Luckily didn’t let the bad calls in the first period screw up their game. Team is “half way there”, as far as winning the series is concerned. Tomorrow is the Bon Jovi concert at Capital One Arena.

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  4. Man, you wanna talk about bad calls, I really want to know how the puck hitting a guy in the face is a high-stick minor. Both that blown call and the no-call on the hook on Wilson that led him straight into the goaltender interference call lead directly to Tampa goals; its a good thing they were able to overcome those, otherwise there’d be some very angry people.

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  7. That sixth goal by Connolly was utterly sick…From about fifteen feet out Brett wristed a rolling puck between the defender’s legs which automatically created a screen on the goalie and roofed it just under the crossbar….he’s some shooter…

    O & O,

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