May 4, 2011, 11:26 PM EST
Just as hopeful as it seemed for the Washington Capitals getting out of Round 1, their fate in Round 2 is equally as quick and stunning as the Tampa Bay Lightning swept the top seed in the Eastern Conference out of the playoffs with a 5-3 win at home.
Once again it would be Sean Bergenheim and Dwayne Roloson standing out as the heroes for Tampa Bay as Bergenheim scored two goals while Roloson stopped 33 Capitals shots in Game 4 to secure the victory.
Bergenheim’s two goals came in the second period to give the Lighting a 3-1 lead and while John Erskine would score for Washington to cut the lead to 3-2 heading into the third. In the third though, Marc-Andre Bergeron and Martin St. Louis would score to make it 5-2 and ice the game. A late John Carlson goal would make it 5-3 but it was all over.
Tampa Bay’s sweep of Washington is stunning because they didn’t just win, they won both convincingly and heart-breakingly for Capitals fans. Close games or blowouts like tonight, Tampa just found ways to get it done. Whether it was high skill or big breaks everything went the way of the Lightning.
It wasn’t just all that that made them quick winners over the Caps, it was a frustrating and stifling defensive plan that found ways to to make everyone except Alex Ovechkin and Mike Knuble wither under the stress. Whether it was poor planning on the part of the Caps, poor countering, or just flat out poor play it’s a fourth straight disappointing end to the season for the Caps.
Getting swept out of this round by a team they ultimately should have beaten will leave lots of questions going into the offseason and most of them will center around Bruce Boudreau and whether or not he should continue to be the head coach. GM George McPhee will also have to answer a lot of questions about his own roster as well as there were a lot of players out on the ice in this series that looked like they’d rather be anywhere but there.
Tampa Bay’s incredible run continues on. After being pushed to the brink against Pittsburgh being down 3-1 at one point in that series, the Lightning have now won seven straight in the playoffs and now they’ll await the winner of the Boston-Philadelphia series to see who they’ll face in the Eastern Conference final. The Lightning are tough, they’re getting offense from three lines, and Dwayne Roloson is playing awfully tough. Whoever faces them in the next round is going to have their hands full.
Dec 12, 2013, 1:53 PM EST
“We want black and blue hockey.”
Dec 12, 2013, 1:51 PM EST
He broke in as a 19-year-old during the 2011-12 campaign.
Dec 12, 2013, 1:42 PM EST
Former Oilers draftee had been with AHL Adirondack.
Dec 12, 2013, 12:54 PM EST
Buffalo’s in Ottawa to play the Sens tonight.
Dec 12, 2013, 12:37 PM EST
Dec 12, 2013, 12:15 PM EST
Assistant general manager John Weisbrod also relieved of duties.
Dec 12, 2013, 12:11 PM EST
Montreal’s in town tonight.
Dec 12, 2013, 11:53 AM EST
Club looking to snap a three-game winless streak.
Dec 12, 2013, 11:29 AM EST
File under “things that happen when a team is co-owned by fierce competitors.”
Dec 12, 2013, 10:50 AM EST
Bit of a shakeup in Ottawa.
Dec 12, 2013, 10:39 AM EST
He was injured on a hit by fellow Tampa Bay prospect Adam Erne.
Dec 12, 2013, 10:20 AM EST
He could be back in the lineup next week.
Dec 12, 2013, 9:12 AM EST
They’ve dug themselves a big hole early on.
Dec 12, 2013, 8:10 AM EST
That and all the links you need to start the day.
Dec 12, 2013, 7:15 AM EST
Perhaps up to $71 million for next season.
Dec 12, 2013, 1:30 AM EST
Some kind of pace he’s on.
Dec 12, 2013, 12:54 AM EST
Dropped third straight on Tuesday.
Dec 12, 2013, 12:28 AM EST
Couple of beauties.
Dec 12, 2013, 12:04 AM EST
Taking positives, despite result.
Dec 11, 2013, 11:27 PM EST
Interesting comment to make.
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