Washington Capitals were leading the series 2-1 against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Caps came out in game three firing as they scored the first goal. The rest of the first period, the bolts came back and put two in the net. Washington won the second period with another goal knotting it up going into the third. Unfortunately for the Capitals, Tampa Bay’s offense had them scrambling on defense for the entire second half of the third period. All in all, the Capitals lost this game in which they should not have.
Tampa Bay’s penalty killing was ideal for them the entire game. Washington had four chances to score while a man up on the penalty. They did not score once while on a power play. Ultimately that is what this game came down to. If they score on one of those chances, it changes the entire game. Many people know that momentum is a huge part of hockey, and when you do not score on the power play one time in the game, it hurts the teams momentum.
The Bolts did not necessarily put a lot of shots on goal, but when they did, they took advantage. Tampa Bay had only 20 shots on goal, whereas the Capitals had 18 more at 38 shots on goal. This is another issue the Caps had. When they got their chances, they could not put the puck in the net. At one point in the game, Alex Ovechkin was 0-8 with most of them being good chances on goal. A player of this caliber should be able to put more than just one of these in the back of the net. Ovechkin did put his teammates in good positions to score as well, but they could not get the job done either. Ovi did set up Kuznetsov for a five hole goal in the second period but that would be all she wrote.
Lars Eller’s penalty minutes hurt the Capitals as well. Eller went into the box two times in this game. This was the only penalty minutes the Caps had in game three. During his two times in the box, Tampa Bay scored one time. Due to the fact that they scored one time, this gave the Bolts a power play percentage of 50%. If any team has a power play percentage of 50%, the chances of winning the game are significantly higher than 0% like Washington had (0-4).
For the Capitals to have a chance in this series, they need to raise their own power play percentage, decrease the amount of penalties that they make, and put the puck in the net when they have multiple chances on one possession.