Surging Capitals cruise past Lightning in Game 1

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Alex Ovechkin hit a very deep one-timer in the Washington Capitals' Game 1 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference finals.

It is Backstrom's second straight game out of the lineup with an injury to his right hand sustained in Game 5 of Washington's series against Pittsburgh. "They were better on special teams".

Almost seven minutes through the second, the Capitals scored its second power-play goal off an Eller rebound, taking a 4-0 lead.

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Evgeny Kuznetsov and T.J. Oshie both had two assists, while Ovechkin logged a two-point night by also notching an assist.

Holtby lost his shutout when Stamkos, assisted by Kucherov and Victor Hedman, scored at 3:45 of the third. However, the goal was called back. There were six Tampa Bay skaters on the ice - for a while.

The two power-play goals might have been the difference-maker in a two-score margin. Steven Stamkos and Ondrej Palat tried to spark a third period comeback, but it never really got going. Braden Holtby has given up 25 goals on 332 shots faced and Philipp Grubauer has allowed eight goals on 49 shots.

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On Ovechkin's goal, center Alex Killorn said they knew the play, but failed to execute their attempt to stop it. Killorn was supposed to block the shot. "I think our guys respect Nick so much that we know we have to step up because he's a huge spot to fill and our guys are doing a phenomenal job, especially up the middle".

"Having some diversity amongst the league is great, and I think it just shows the competitive balance throughout the league", Jets captain Blake Wheeler said. It's paid dividends for us. He's up to five goals and five assists in 13 games during the postseason. Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury has been on top of his game through the first two rounds, and he has gotten plenty of support from Jonathan Marchessault, Reilly Smith and Colin Miller. On a power play, Nikita Kucherov slings a cross-ice pass to Steven Stamkos, who unleashes one-time blast from the left circle and puts the Lightning on the board - finally.

Then, as if things weren't already going the Caps way, they made it 3-0 less than three minutes into the second when Jay Beagle scored after Brett Connolly fanned on a shot.

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Well, it was either not as bad as they thought, or it was one of their worst, but what the Lightning can agree on is they have to be a heck of a lot better in this Eastern Conference final, which continues with Game 2 on Sunday night at Amalie Arena.

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