Game 53: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Washington Capitals
Last night, the Tampa Bay Lightning fell to the Washington Capitals 5-2.
Calling it "losing" is an understatement. Boucher called "disappointment" a weak word, commenting on the complete lack of urgency, lack of fear on the part of the Lightning.
Put simply: everything went right for the Capitals; everything went wrong for the Lightning. The Capitals were ready, the Lightning weren't.
Steven Stamkos said afterwards:
"We didn't come out the way we wanted to, and that set the tone for the game. Obviously we weren't happy with the way we started the game, and dug ourselves a hole."
Follow the jump for notes & video highlights.
Teddy Purcell opened the scoring, getting the first goal on the first shot (a repeat from Tuesday night), but from there nothing else seemed to go right. The Bolts didn't build off the momentum, and didn't find any drive.
Following, Matt Hendricks took a dive over Dwayne Roloson, where Roloson and Hendricks were both handed penalties after Roloson threw a handful of fists at Hendricks.
Washington then evened the score with Nicklas Backstrom's goal to finish the first period at 1-1.
The Lightning regained nothing in the second period, falling behind more after Brooks Laich and Alex Ovechkin each scored. Brett Clark scored on the Lightning power play (the fourth one in the game), with assists to Purcell and Simon Gagne, and finished the second period 3-2.
The first two periods were dismal, and then it got worse. In the third, the Caps scored two more goals, one from Backstrom and another from Jason Chimera on the empty net at the end of the period to finish the game at 5-2.
Boucher called the lack of fear on the part of the Bolts disrespectful to the Capitals, who are obviously a great opponent.
Stamkos, who only had one shot the entire game, said:
"We realize that we didn't play well, so it's on our shoulders to come out next game and prove that it's a once in a while thing."
So what do you think? Was the loss driven by the massive home stretch, or was it the fault of pride, the loss that comes after winning six games straight?
Following tonight, the Lightning will play at home on Super Bowl Sunday against the St. Louis Blues at 3:00 P.M. If you're in Tampa, the Stanley Cup will be in attendance; if you aren't, be sure and stop by the game thread.
Capitals vs Lightning coverage [SB Nation]
Capitals vs Lightning recap [TSN]
Capitals vs Lightning boxscore [TSN]