Everything could have gone wrong for the Washington Capitals in Game Two. With a couple brutal whistles gone against them early, each yielding a goal, one could understand (if not forgive) if they had put on their grumpypants and stomped their way to a loss. Instead, the Caps stuck to the script and delivered a compelling performance that wouldn’t be unfairly characterized as dominant. I can’t believe this actually happened. I can’t believe this is actually happening.
Tom Wilson scored on the first shift of the game, tipping in Matt Niskanen’s shot. Not long after, a couple suspect calls by the officials spotted Tampa two power plays, both of which were converted courtesy of Point and Stamkos.
In the second period, Devante Smith-Pelly scored a rush goal with a keen assist by Alex Chiasson to tie the game. Lars Eller put the Caps ahead with a net-front crash, then Evgeny Kuznetsov got a little help from the Bolts to get his centering pass into the back of the net just before the second period was over.
Evgeny Kuznetsov set up Alex Ovechkin for a back-breaking breakaway goal to make it 5-2 in the third. Brett Connolly put a wristshot behind Vasilevskiy to send Bolts fans, welp, bolting for the exits.
Caps beat Bolts 6-2! Caps lead the series 2-0!
In a moment, bullets. But first: Bailamos! We don’t get to do this enough. Turn it up.
59 seconds later, Evgeny Kuznetsov makes it 4-2! Wow. pic.twitter.com/wdUWUWhN1n
— Ian Oland (@ianoland) May 14, 2018
— Rob Carlin (@RobCarlinNBCS) May 13, 2018
Joe B suit of the night, kind of, via Rob Carlin
I’m ready to say it: The Caps are the better team. I mean that in a bunch of ways. Yes, they’ve been better than the Lightning so far this series – in results as well as process. But they’re also better than they themselves were. In November this team couldn’t put a competent breakout together to save their lives. Now they’re firmly controlling play during even strength. And it’s showing up in the outcome: two road wins against a very good team to take a 2-0 series lead home.
When there were about ten minutes left in the game, Ian told me he paused working so he could sit back and enjoy the game for a moment. If you know Ian and his work ethic, you know that’s uncommon. Ian saw what I hope we all see: this is a special time we’re in right now. I’m not sure how to describe it except to call attention to it, and to ask you if you’re feeling it too. So, are you?
The Capitals will fly back to DC tonight with the wind at their backs and two wins in their favor.
This is really happening.
Headline photo: Mike Carlson
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