Sport Capitals have home-ice disadvantage for Game 4 vs. Lightning

18:45  17 may  2018
18:45  17 may  2018 Source:   ap.org

Ovechkin has goal, assist, Capitals crush Lightning 4-2

  Ovechkin has goal, assist, Capitals crush Lightning 4-2 Alex Ovechkin led the Washington Capitals to a 4-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday night.Braden Holtby stopped 19 shots and Michal Kempny, Jay Beagle and Lars Eller also scored for the Caps, who are alive beyond the second round of the playoffs for the first time in Ovechkin's brilliant 13-year career.

Because of the way they’ve been soundly beaten – getting outscored by a combined 12-1 in their two defeats, including Sunday’s 5-1 loss at the Wells Fargo Center – it seems as if the Flyers are getting blown out of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals by the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Ovie and the Caps have taken home - ice advantage and jumped out to an early 1-0 series lead. (Wiki Commons) [CC License]. Capitals vs Lightning Game 2 Betting Advice. Pick: Tampa Bay on the Moneyline Despite their lack of Conference Finals experience, Washington Coach Barry Trotz does


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WASHINGTON — The good news for Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals is they still lead their Eastern Conference final against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The bad news for the Capitals, counterintuitive as it may be: They host Game 4.

So far, Washington is 7-1 in away games this postseason, closing out each of its first two series on the road.

Heading into Thursday night, the Capitals are only 3-4 in their arena. The latest setback was a 4-2 loss to the Lightning on Tuesday, after victories at Tampa Bay by a combined score of 10-4 in the final's opening two games.

Capitals pull away, beat Lightning 6-2 for 2-0 series lead

  Capitals pull away, beat Lightning 6-2 for 2-0 series lead <p>The Washington Capitals scored in the opening minute of the game and twice in the last 1:02 of the second period to pull away to a 6-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday night and a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference final.</p>Evgeny Kuznetsov and Lars Eller each had a goal and two assists. Alex Ovechkin and Tom Wilson had a goal and an assist apiece.

Except, the Lightning had been called for too many men on the ice mere moments before. The goal was waved off, Washington went on the power play and cashed in two seconds later. MORE: Lightning vs . Capitals odds, predictions Game 1 result: Capitals 4 , Lightning 2.

Home . About. Blog. Contact. DMCA. Click here to watch now. NHL Playoffs 2018 Washington Capitals vs . Tampa Bay Lightning Game 1 (in Tampa): Friday, May 11, 8 p.m. ET (NBCS) Game 2 (in Tampa): Sunday, May 13, 8 p.m. ET (NBCS) Game 3 (in Washington): Tuesday

Ovechkin simply shrugged when asked about that discrepancy.

"We don't think about it," the three-time NHL MVP said. "We just play our game."

Others were less dismissive.

"We can take a few things that we've done on the road and put it into our home game," goalie Braden Holtby said. "Just a little simpler. Simpler play. Just a kind of, like, more gritty style."

Asked what his club could do to fare better at home, Capitals coach Barry Trotz said: "Just play the way we do on the road. We're invested there. We're playing with real good focus. I didn't think we were as focused as we have been normally on the road. So just pretend you're on the road. All the buildings are pretty well the same these days."

Trotz notices a difference in his players' attitude on home ice, saying: "It's 'us against the world' when were on the road."

Series lead gives Capitals time for Nicklas Backstrom return

  Series lead gives Capitals time for Nicklas Backstrom return <p>The Washington Capitals are doing just fine as center Nicklas Backstrom recoups from a hand injury that’s sidelined him for the last three games. A 2-0 series lead against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference Final allows them to not feel forced to rush him back.</p>Speaking to reporters on Monday before returning home to D.C. for Games 3 and 4, Capitals head coach Barry Trotz said the decision on Backstrom’s return is up to the player at this point. Backstrom has been skating with the team and Lars Eller has been filling in on the second line in his absence — and excelling.

The Capitals know the Lightning lost the first game of its second-round series against the Boston Bruins, 6-2, on home ice . So prepare for that desperation — and match it. [Trotz is ‘optimistic’ Nicklas Backstrom will play in series vs . Lightning ] Now, this isn’t at all to splash water all over the

The Lightning took two of the three games between these teams in the regular season this year. At the defensive end of the ice , they have been solid during the postseason as they come in ranked 4 th in goals allowed May 11 Written by Nick Raffoul. Washington Capitals vs . Tampa Bay Lightning .

There is a league-wide trend here: Road teams are 38-34 in these playoffs.

So much for any supposed home-ice advantage, right?

"For whatever reason, at this time of the year there are more distractions than in the regular season, for sure. A lot of people have friends and family coming down and ticket requests. Sometimes there's that little added pressure of playing at home and wanting to obviously do good things in front of your fans," Lightning forward Steven Stamkos said. "There's something to be said, too, (for) winning games on the road, when you can just kind of hear a pin drop in the crowd, sometimes, which is always a good thing."

Holtby agreed.

"It's easier to play on the road. It's always that way on the road. Any team would say that," he said. "Because you're not focused on the excitement of your fans and all that. They bring you energy in good ways, but at the same time, you need to stay realistic and play your game."

Caps' Backstrom a game-time decision to return from injury

  Caps' Backstrom a game-time decision to return from injury Nicklas Backstrom could return to the Capitals' lineup for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference final against the Lightning. Backstrom has missed Washington's past four games with a right hand injury. Washington leads the series 2-1.Backstrom has missed Washington's past four games with a right hand injury. Coach Barry Trotz called him a game-time decision and said early Thursday that Backstrom had not yet been medically cleared.

Bolts Bomb On Own Ice . The third Eastern Conference Finals appearance in the past four years didn’t start well for the Tampa Bay Lightning (8-3), who Washington Capitals vs . Tampa Bay Lightning . May 13 Written by Valdis Pans. Following a fiasco in the opening home game of their Eastern

Game Recaps. Capitals vs . Lightning Recap: Backstrom's Hat Trick Wins It for Washington. New, 20 comments. They would rebound however, thanks to Nicklas Backstrom's masterful performance on home ice .

During the regular season, Washington was a strong home team, playing in front of loud, red-wearing sellout crowds in every game.

Only five teams in the 31-club NHL had more victories at home than Washington's 28 — and that total represents seven more wins than the Capitals managed on the road.

So what is going on in the playoffs?

"I don't really have an explanation for it, to be honest with you," defenseman Brooks Orpik said. "I know when we go on the road, I think maybe we feel a bit more relaxed, and when we do make mistakes, maybe we don't let the groaning affect us or whatnot. I mean, that being said, I think we should be probably mentally stronger to not let that affect us. Just got to try to find a way to win the next one at home, for sure."

NOTES: Injured Capitals C Nicklas Backstrom, who has missed the last four games with an injured right hand, took part in the team's optional skate Wednesday. But Trotz wouldn't give any hint as to when Backstrom might return. "When Nicky's ready to go, he's ready to go," Trotz said. "You miss him in every way shape or form." ... Washington re-signed D Aaron Ness to a one-year, two-way contract worth $650,000 if he's in the NHL, $425,000 in the minors. Ness had one assist in eight games for the Capitals this season.

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AP Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno contributed to this report.

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Follow Howard Fendrich on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HowardFendrich

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For more NHL coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/NHLhockey

Alex Ovechkin finally has the right mix that could take Capitals to Stanley Cup Final .
While Alex Ovechkin is still Washington's face and most important player, the Capitals’ identity has been broadened beyond his ability. Look at the last game when Ovechkin had no points and the Capitals recorded a 3-0 win to stay alive. The story in that game is  Capitals out-hit the Lightning by a 2-1 margin. Their physical play, and Ovechkin is an important contributor to that, was a critical aspect of the game plan.More: Can Capitals break losing spell for woebegone Washington?More: Do Capitals or Lightning win Game 7, reach Stanley Cup Final? Golden Knights await.

Source: http://us.pressfrom.com/news/sports/-145780-capitals-have-home-ice-disadvantage-for-game-4-vs-lightning/

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