After a late third period collapse allowed Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin to tie up Game 2, Tampa Bay Lightning captain Vincent Lecavalier countered with a big goal of his own in overtime.
Streaking down the right wing Lecavalier took a feed from Teddy Purcell and flipped a shot over the left pad of Capitals goaltender Michael Neuvirth. The game-winning goal was not only Lecavalier’s second goal of the game, but it gave the Lightning a 3-2 victory and puts them up 2-0 in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
“It’s a great feeling to win those two games,” forward Martin St. Louis told the Calgary Herald, “but we haven’t done anything yet.”
For Lecavalier the 2011 playoffs thus far have answered what many critics have been questioning: Is the 31-year-old worth the $85 million contract extension that he signed in the summer of 2008. Because since signing that mega deal the headlines surrounding Lecavalier have either talked of injuries or have asked whether the Bolts captain should be traded.
In nine games so far this post season Vinny has notched four goals and 10 points and next to goaltender Dwayne Roloson and forward Martin St. Louis he may be the main reason for the Lightning’s success.
Caps powerplay continues to struggle
The Lightning left the first period of Game 2 up 1-0, but that may not have been the case had the Capitals powerplay found a way to connect. Washington had three straight man advantages in the first period, but failed to generate any legitimate offense on any of them and went 0-5 on the powerplay over the course of the contest.
In Game 1 the Capitals powerplay also went 0-5 and if they’re going to have any chance at erasing the 2-0 series deficit their stars need to find away to solve Dwayne Roloson with the man advantage.
“It’s first to four [wins], and that’s the way we’ve got to look at it,” Capitals defenceman Scott Hannan told the Calgary Herald. “It’s not the way we wanted to start, but there’s a lot of games left.”
Roloson continues to shine
The 41-year-old’s consistent play continued in Game 2 as Roloson made 35 saves in tonight’s overtime win. His performance seems to be reminiscent of his play in the 2006 playoffs when he led the Edmonton Oilers – an eighth seed – to the Stanley Cup Final.
When asked whether his age is going to play a factor in his play Roloson had this to say to the New York Times. “To me it’s a number. It doesn’t matter,” he said. “People can say whatever they want. To me it doesn’t make a difference.”
Other game notes…
• Martin St. Louis had a goal and an assist and now has 10 points in the playoffs thus far.
• Although he notched an assist on the Brooks Laich goal, Nicklas Backstrom is still without a goal in seven playoff games.
• Lightning defenceman Eric Brewer led all skaters with 28 minutes and 33 seconds of ice time.