For the second straight Eastern Conference Semifinal game, the Caps’ futility on the power play largely cost them in a close loss against Tampa Bay.
The Caps went 0 for 6 with a man advantage Sunday night despite controlling the play for large periods of time, the Lightning can credit its penalty kill for keeping them in position to pull out a 3-2 overtime win.
The Caps are now 0 for 11 on the power play in the series, 3 for 27 in this year’s playoffs, and 4-for-60 since the beginning of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series last season against Montreal.
As the series shifts to Tampa Bay with their situation getting more desperate, the Caps are left looking for answers.
“I think overall guys want to score and there’s frustration that they’re not scoring,” winger Mike Knuble said. “We expect a lot out of our power play to score, but it’s not a [lack of] confidence type of frustration.”
Unlike in Game 1, the Caps did create some power-play chances Sunday, especially in their opportunities in the second period.
They managed 12 shots on its six power-play opportunities, and bad bounces and big saves by Tampa Bay goaltender Dwayne Roloson kept them from scoring more than once.
“There were chances around the net. I remember one power pla,y one rolled off of [Knuble’s] stick in front,” winger Brooks Laich said. “Roloson] is making good saves. He’s gotta scramble to make saves and he’s doing a good job. [We have to] still believe and try to take it up one more level.”
While there was some bad luck, the power-play unit still does not look as cohesive as it should given the offensive talent the Caps have on the ice.
“We’re trying,” Coach Bruce Boudreau said. “We’re trying different things. We’re trying to make things work. Obviously it’s not…We’ve just got to keep going at it.”
Added Knuble: “We have guys that are very highly skilled, that have been on power plays their whole life and know what to do when they get out there, so at times we were doing the right things, at times we weren’t, and it was ugly at times.”