NHL: Tampa Bay takes over Washington Capitals

The Tampa Bay Lightning first took the lead in the Eastern Conference final against the Washington Capitals after their 3-2 victory in Game 5 at home. True to its nickname, the Lightning struck like lightning: after nineteen seconds in the first period and from the 33rd second in the second. At the start of the match, Ryan Callahan and Cédric Paquette took advantage of the passivity of the entire Washington team, Paquette sending a mid-distance shot in the back of the net against Braden Holtby no more awake than his teammates (1-0, 1st). Stifled in this first third (13 shots to 4), the Capitals conceded a second goal by Ondrej Palat (2-0, 10th).

And then, just after the first break, it was Ryan Callahan who scored after a confused situation in front of Holtby’s goal (3-0, 21st). After attempting to retrieve a puck in the air, Callahan was jostled by a Washington defender and involuntarily propelled the puck into the back of the goal with shock. Thus distanced, the Capitals finally entered the game. Yevgueni Kouznetsov even reduced the mark with a nice deviation in front of his compatriot Andrei Vasilevskyi (3-1, 25th).

The third period was largely dominated by the visitors who put a lot of pressure on the opposing goal several times. But Vasilevskyi did not give in for the second time until 1’36 from the end on a shot from Aleksandr Ovetchkine (3-2, 59th). It was too late to allow Washington to equalize. It is now up to the Capitals to win at home to survive in this conference final.

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