Sunday, May 1, 2011

Playoff Round 2 Game #2 Preview: Tampa Bay Lightning at Washington Capitals



Where: Verizon Center, Washington, DC

When:  May 1, 2011, 7:00 PM

History:           
All-Time Playoff Series Record vs. TAM: 0-1
All-Time Playoff Game Record vs. TAM: 2-5
Last Meeting: 2003, WAS 2 TAM 4

This Year:
WAS Record: 48-22-11
Standings Points: 107
Division Rank: 1st
Conference Rank: 1st

TAM Record: 46-25-11
Standings Points: 103
Division Rank: 2nd
Conference Rank: 5th    

2010-2011 Regular Season Series: 4-1-1
Nov. 11, 2010 WAS 6 TAM 3
Nov. 26, 2010 WAS 6 TAM 0
Jan. 4, 2011 WAS 0 TAM 1 (OT)
Jan. 12, 2011 WAS 0 TAM 3
Feb. 4, 2011 WAS 5 TAM 2
Mar. 7, 2011 WAS 2 TAM 1 (OT-SO)


Playoff Series Schedule and Results:
Apr. 29, 2011 WAS 2 TAM 4
May 01, 2011 at Washington
May 03, 2011 at Tampa
May 04, 2011 at Tampa
May 07, 2011 at Washington*
May 09, 2011 at Tampa*
May 11, 2011 at Washington*
*If required

Probable Line-Ups:     
Washington
Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 19 BACKSTROM, 21 LAICH
Forward Line 2: 18 STURM, 44 ARNOTT, 28 SEMIN
Forward Line 3: 25 CHIMERA, 90 JOHANSSON, 16 FEHR
Forward Line 4: 26 HENDRICKS, 15 GORDON, 10 BRADLEY
Defense Pair 1: 55 SCHULTZ, 23 HANNAN
Defense Pair 2: 27 ALZNER, 74 CARLSON
Defense Pair 3: 4 ERSKINE, 52 GREEN
Goalie: 30 NEUVIRTH
Back-up Goalie: 1 VARLAMOV

Tampa
Forward Line 1: 12 GAGNE, 91 STAMKOS, 9 DOWNIE
Forward Line 2: 16 PURCELL, 4 LECAVALIER, 26 ST. LOUIS
Forward Line 3: 6 MALONE, 19 MOORE, 10 BERGENHEIM
Forward Line 4: 18 HALL, 44 THOMPSON, 42 TYRELL
Defense Pair 1: 2 BREWER, 39 LUNDIN
Defense Pair 2: 7 CLARK, 5 OHLUND
Defense Pair 3: 13 KUBINA, 77 HEDMAN
Goalie: 35 ROLOSON
Back-up Goalie: 41 SMITH

Injuries:
Washington – 3 POTI (upper body) IR, 6 WIDEMAN (lower body) DTD, 22 KNUBLE (hand) DTD

TAM – None

Preview:

Nobody said this would be an easy journey and it’s clear the Tampa has come to play. The Capitals took a while to get back in the flow of things and they will need a full 60 minute effort to prevail in Game #2. Look for significant pushback from Washington as they let Tampa force the action in Game #1. The Caps need to get back to what they did well in round 1 which was tenacious puck retrieval and solid systems play. The other thing that would be nice would be finishing when they get the open look. Nicklas Backstrom and Alexander Semin each had golden opportunities to put the game out of reach but failed to convert. Watch for a much steadier team in Game #2. There will be some subtle changes made now that they know the matchups they are facing. The key for the Capitals will be the special teams. They need to convert on the power play and keep out of the box themselves. I am expecting a big game from Alex Ovechkin so watch for a more physical game with another tight score.  

Joe’s prediction: Caps 3 TAM 2


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