The Washington Capitals got scored on 19 seconds into Game Five. 8:45 later, Lightning forward Ondrej Palat gave Tampa a two-goal lead, scoring over Braden Holtby’s right shoulder.
But it was what happened several seconds before Palat’s tally, which frustrated several Capitals after the team’s 3-2 loss.
Steven Stamkos tripped Dmitry Orlov in the neutral zone.
As the Caps defenseman tried to corral a bouncing puck, Stamkos clinked his skate, sending Orly to the ice.
An exasperated Orlov would appeal to an official afterwards to no avail.
“Obviously they score the first goal in the first minute. You’re a little bit on your heels right off the bat,” Caps head coach Barry Trotz said after the game. “I thought we were going on a power play on the second one, they score right away. We ended up on our heels, not executing, not playing quick, and dug ourselves a hole.”
Trotz was then asked explicitly if officials missed a tripping penalty.
“In my opinion, yeah, it turned into a scoring chance and we had puck possession,” Trotz said. “I thought that was missed, but, you know, there’s probably a few missed. We didn’t get a power play all game. We had a lot of possession in the second or third. Surely there was something out there that would have pulled it. The officiating is what it is. You just have to play through and we didn’t do that early.”
Caps goaltender Braden Holtby, who was ultimately victimized on the play, agreed with Trotz.
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“It’s not easy. It’s just the way it was,” Holtby said. “That’s the reason why that goal happened. I’m not putting the blame on anyone. I’m just explaining what happened.
“I think we’ve done a good job of that and we will in the future, just realizing that things happen and things get missed,” Holtby continued. “Bad breaks sometime go your way. Just regroup and move forward. I think we did that in the first intermission and now we’re going to push forward in Game Six.”
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