The Tampa Bay Lightning earned a 4-2 win against the Washington Capitals in Game 1 thanks to some timely scoring, a gradually restrictive defense and a nice helping of hard work. This series is far from over, but winning Game 1 on the road puts a lot of pressure on a higher seed.
This point is not lost on Lightning coach Guy Boucher, who continues to stoke his own team’s fires by singing his opponents’ praises. Sure, he said that the Capitals would basically be failures if they lost this series, but he called Washington “a more powerful team” after tonight’s win. In many ways, these comments could serve as reverse bulletin board material as Boucher tries to emphasize Tampa Bay’s underdog status. (His job isn’t necessarily easy considering the also-impressive star power on his own bench.)
Want a sense of the fallout from this first game? The first video includes some highlights plus a recap of the game from Dave Strader and Ed Olczyk. The second features a post-game interview with Steven Stamkos, who scored the game-winner late in the second period. We’ll also keep you up to date as Sunday’s Game 2 (7 pm. ET on Versus) as it approaches.
Post-game reactions from the Capitals and Lightning, plus analysis from the Versus crew:
If you think the Dallas Stars are struggling because of defense more than anything else, then you’ll make sure to keep the video above “on file.”
There Kari Lehtonen was, helpless on a 2-on-0 rush for the Calgary Flames, which Johnny Gaudreau finished with calm and ease. For some, that goal is the symbol of the Stars’ season.
Either way, it was a painful goal in the Flames’ 2-1 win against the Stars. Calgary won despite Dallas firing 30 shots on goal versus the Flames’ 20.
One team climbing, the other stumbling
With that, the Flames are now on a four-game winning streak. Since falling to 5-10-1 on Nov. 12, the Flames have gone 9-3-1 in their last 13 games, pushing them to 14-13-2 overall. Gaudreau coming back is the icing on the cake after Chad Johnson really took charge of the Flames’ top job.
During a similar span, the Stars can’t seem to get it together. Dallas stood at 6-6-3 after beating the Oilers 3-2 on Nov. 11. They’re now 10-11-6, essentially standing in place as a .500 team.
Dallas can’t seem to get momentum going, a thought that might have left them envious of the team on the other end of the ice on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, it wasn’t just about Jack Eichel vs. Connor McDavid. Instead, it was a clash between a fleet of young scorers who were in their prime, with the Buffalo Sabres coming up on top against the Edmonton Oilers.