Some thoughts from the NHL on TSN panel on Friday night:
For me [the difference in the Washington Capitals-Tampa Bay Lightning game] was the power play. The Tampa Bay Lightning scored the game-winning goal on a power play late in the second period. In the third period, the Washington Capitals had two full two-minute man advantages and they didn't get anything to show for it. In fact, they really didn't generate anything at all.
I know the Washington Capitals finished first in the Eastern Conference this year, but they finished first in spite of a power play that was mediocre to below average most of the time. It picked up every so often, but they didn't get anything going in a crucial moment tonight when they were down a goal.
All the power play stats and where you are ranked and everything else, you can throw them out the window. When the game is on the line, can you get a power play goal? And in four minutes of power play time in the third period, Washington didn't even get a sniff.
Tampa Bay absolutely put Pittsburgh through the meat-grinder with their power play in the first round, and that was the best penalty-killing team in the league in the regular season.
The one thing about Guy Boucher-coached teams, their power play is always excellent. Top five in the regular season and it's been ripping it up in the playoffs so far. The Capitals have to stay out of the box.