This year’s Eastern Conference finals is one that many fans probably weren’t counting on happening. With the third-seeded Boston Bruins taking on the fifth seeded Tampa Bay Lightning after those teams took out the top two teams in the East, to the winner goes the spoils of a shot at the Stanley Cup.
In Boston’s favor they’ve got the stellar goaltending of Tim Thomas to lead the way along with Zdeno Chara’s presence along the blue line and the potential rugged defense of Nathan Horton, David Krejci, and Milan Lucic. The Bruins having to make due without Patrice Bergeron will be a bit of a problem but rookie Tyler Seguin will try and steady things out in his stead.
Tampa Bay has the offense rolling for them in star players like Martin St. Louis, Steve Stamkos, and Vincent Lecavalier. They’re also getting great support from the likes of Steve Downie and Sean Bergenheim not to mention great goaltending out of 41 year-old Dwayne Roloson.
With tacticians like Guy Boucher and Claude Julien behind the benches for each team we’re left to wonder if we’ll have a series loaded with punch-counter-punch offense or a more defensively reserved game. Either way, it sets up for an intriguing matchup. What we want to know is, who’s going to win? Let us know in our poll and in the comments.
Oshie’s hat trick lets Caps just barely squeak by Penguins in OT
This series between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals might be headlined by Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin, but as many have said in the lead-up to tonight’s opener, there is so much more to this second round matchup than that. Washington’s 4-3 overtime victory in Game 1 tonight could be offered up as Exhibit A.
This game had everything except big offensive showings from Crosby and Ovechkin. They had their moments, but in the end combined for just one assist.
What we got instead was a hat trick by T.J. Oshie that was completed with a game-winning goal that made it past the line by such a narrow margin that it warranted a video review:
Murray on the goal: "I don't know how the ref that called it a goal could have seen it from his angle. I think I had it."
For the first 30 minutes of Game 1 between Pittsburgh and Washington it looked like goaltenders Matt Murray and Braden Holtby might outshine these star-studded offenses. Then the floodgates opened up, if only for a moment.
Washington already had a 1-0 lead going into the second frame courtesy of Andre Burakovsky‘s first marker of the 2016 playoffs, but Ben Lovejoy and Evgeni Malkin scored back-to-back goals within the span of 57 seconds midway through the second period to tilt the scale in Pittsburgh’s favor. That lead didn’t last for long though as Capitals forward T.J. Oshie got a breakaway opportunity and took full advantage of it.
In total, there were three goals scored in the span of just 90 seconds and you can see all of them below:
After that sequence, the 2-2 tie held for the remainder of the frame. However, Oshie was able to reassert Washington’s edge just 3:23 minutes into the third period.