Mike Green summed up the Capitals’ situation entering Game 3 rather well this morning.
“We’ve been alright,” the defenseman said, “but alright is not good enough this time of the year.”
Two games in two nights gives Washington, down two games to none, a prime opportunity to alter the course of this series. While the possibility exists for either team to roll momentum from one game to the next in this scenario, don’t expect either to try to save some energy and emotion for Wednesday.
“You can’t,” Tampa Bay’s Martin St. Louis said. “I don’t think you have the luxury in the playoffs to save yourself. I think you empty the tank and see where you are the next day.”
While the Capitals will likely come out with a stronger push in the first period of this contest than they have at any point in this series, they know that the largest advantage would come from playing with a lead. Washington has scored just one first-period goal in the playoffs, and that was back in Game 5 against the Rangers.
“It’s big. We don’t want them sitting back, working their trap game,” Capitals winger Eric Fehr said. “That’s when they’re at their best -- when they have a lead -- and we’re going to try to make sure that that doesn’t happen.”
Players from both teams discussed a desire to get more shots on goal. For the Lightning, it’s matter of establishing more offensive zone time so that they don’t have to rely solely on those opportunistic rushes while the Capitals want more second and third chances against Dwayne Roloson.
“Just competing in front of the net and getting more scoring chances,” Green said. “I think that we’re getting shots, but he’s smothering them up. He’s having time to cover it when we should be banging it in. Other than that, they don’t have much -- the goals that they’ve scored, one went off me, one went off Hanner, and they haven’t had much.”
Even though the Lightning hold a two-games-to-none lead in the series, they continue to stress the effort that they need to maintain to maintain their control on the series.
“We’ve done nothing yet,” St. Louis said. “It might be 2-0 in the series, but I don’t think it’s been played like that. We don’t feel like that…. We’ve got to stick to our plan and challenge our emotion here in the right direction tonight and stay within our structure. Stay focused on the task. Obviously they’re a hungry team right now.”