Game 81: Washington at Tampa Bay
The Tampa Bay Lightning lost to the Washington Capitals 4-2.
I actually got to watch this game on tv instead of on my computer because I live in Virginia. The Caps announcers are alright, I suppose. Sort of middling since I've heard better and I've heard worse. Although, they were a pretty happy couple of guys. But it's easy to be happy in sports when your team is winning, right?
The first period was pretty good. Stamkos's goal in the first was beautiful. It was one of those plays that just magically came together. Konopka had a stumbling poke check that ended up on Stamkos's stick and he one-timed it and it went in.
The second period wasn't so nice. The Lightning looked tired to me. But then, they've collectively been looking tired to me for the last few games. Both mentally and physically.
Penalties ended up being even, strangely. I say "strangely" since there seemed to have been a lot of penalties against Tampa Bay. But maybe that's just because they were one after another in the first. After all of those penalties in the first and second, the refs just let the players play in the third.
Again, being down by a couple of goals going into the third, the Lightning stepped it up and played a pretty good period. Pettinger got a goal to get the team within one of Washington, but that's essentially how it ended. Empty net goals don't really count when it comes to overall team effort. They just count where it matters most - on the scoreboard.
Considering that the Lightning played with only one full-time NHL defenseman against the fourth best team in the NHL, they really did pretty well. I never got the sense that the Capitals were playing down, so it was a genuine effort on their part. Seriously, that's pretty respectable. And maybe they did so well because the defensemen that were playing for Tampa Bay already knew and played together in the AHL. It's hard to say, really.
On a completely different, but still hockey related, note.... Women's Ice Hockey World Championships have been going on in Finland. Tomorrow, the United States plays Canada for the gold, while Sweden plays Russia for the bronze. Women's ice hockey is an Olympic event, with the first medals awarded in 1998. The United States won the first ever Olympic gold medal for women's ice hockey in Nagano, Japan.