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Game day thread: Washington Capitals vs. Tampa Bay Lightning, Round 3 Game 2

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Yeah, yeah.

RxlandS

Washington Capitals vs. Tampa Bay Lightning: Round 3, Game 2

Time: 8:00 PM Eastern Time

Location: Amalie Arena

Broadcast / Streaming: NBCSN (link to stream), TVA Sports

Opponent SBNation Site: Japer’s Rink

Preview:

Do everything the opposite way. Dan Girardi put it best after the Lightning lost in humiliating fashion in game one: the Capitals absolutely dominated the Lightning. The Lightning seemed like they made no effort to win. It was an inexcusable effort level for an Eastern Conference Final game.

Now that they’ve gotten it out of their system, they need to rebound. They need to come out flying. They need to attack and be aggressive. If they’re going to make a pass, put it on the money, on time, to the right spot. If there is no pass, shoot the puck and crash the net. The Capitals have been good at keeping opponents out of the middle much like the Lightning do. So they have to do whatever they can to force the puck into the middle. Get it to the net, and then get bodies to the net to force the issue. Make Holtby come up with saves, hard ones and easy ones.

And for the sake of our blood pressures, please stay out of the box. Controlling the puck will help with that, since you tend to be less likely to take a penalty when you’ve got the puck. But really. This is an even more dangerous power play than the Bruins. Even if you shut them down at even strength, they’ve got the power play firepower and the defensive structure to still win games.

I don’t believe in pronouncing teams dead just for going down 0-2 in a series... but if that were to happen, the Lightning would need close to a miracle to bring it back to Amalie Arena for game five and even up at 2-2. They did well against the Boston Bruins to take two in Boston. It will be a more difficult task to do so in Washington. The Lightning have already made it so they have to win at least one in Washington. They can’t put themselves in a position of having to do that twice.

I expect to see a much better team tonight. This is a proud team and they knew that they threw away an opportunity in game one to get off on a good foot. The first ten minutes of the game will be telling. Come out the same way that they did in game one, and much of the belief is going to start streaming out of fans. This is much different from game one against the Bruins. In that game, the Lightning at least looked good for most of the game instead for a couple minutes here and there sprinkled throughout the game.

Come on Lightning. Let’s do that hockey!

Tampa Bay Lightning:

Lineup notes: [pending morning skate]

Forward Lines:

J.T. Miller - Steven Stamkos - Nikita Kucherov

Ondrej Palat - Brayden Point - Tyler Johnson

Alex Killorn - Anthony Cirelli - Yanni Gourde

Chris Kunitz - Cedric Paquette - Ryan Callahan

Defense Pairings:

Victor HedmanDan Girardi

Ryan McDonaghAnton Stralman

Braydon CoburnMikhail Sergachev

Goaltenders:

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Louis Domingue

Washington Capitals

Lineup notes: