Capitals' Nicklas Backstrom (hand) misses Game 1 against Lightning

NHL Playoffs 2018: Capitals' Nicklas Backstrom, Andre Burakovsky game-time decisions for Game 1 against Lightning

NHL Playoffs 2018: Capitals' Nicklas Backstrom, Andre Burakovsky game-time decisions for Game 1 against Lightning

"Any time you give up a goal like that, it gives momentum to the other team". "We didn't stick to our game plan".

Washington could be without one or both of Nicklas Backstrom and Andre Burakovsky, who are considered game-time decisions. However, it's worth noting the Boston Bruins made the Lightning look bad in Game 1 of their second-round series and the Bolts wound up winning the next four games.

And though they're now down 1-0, there's zero panic in this Lightning dressing room, among this group that put together the best regular season record in the National Hockey League.

Expect the Lightning to forgo cocktails and get straight to the shots in Game 2. Stamkos called his team a "calm group", twice.

"It just happened so quickly that it's tough to get body position especially when Eller is trying to set a pick there", Killorn said. In the first period, the Caps outshot the Lightning 9-2.

"We were six men by a mile, so I don't think anyone was too fired up about the goal".

"We had a really good start". I think this whole playoffs we went out there with an attack mentality.

There were a couple encouraging aspects of the Game 1 loss for the Lightning, though you have to look hard to find them.

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The Capitals are led by Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, John Carlson and goaltender Braden Holtby. Tampa had 10 shots on goal through two periods, which was the fewest through the first 40 minutes in any game this season, including the playoffs.

"I'm not anxious about Nick Backstrom", Trotz said, asked if a lack of practice time is becoming a problem for No. 19.

That means breaking out with speed and competing harder, if you ask Stamkos. "We all watched the tape we had a good solid practice today and the response level needs to be there [Sunday]". You want to get a block there, you want to stop them from scoring. The Capitals were relentless going after the puck and it paid off big time for them. "But we've got to find a way to get to our strength a little bit more".

Still, all Tampa Bay had to do was make a play. "It had been blown dead for a while", Stamkos said. We've been in this situation before, unfortunately. We just didn't treat it that way. "We're gonna keep going here".

The start date for the 2017 Stanley Cup Final was May 29.

The Washington Capitals came out strong in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final.

Simply put, the Capitals were the much better team in Game 1.

With Backstrom out of the lineup, Lars Eller has admirably centered a second line with wingers T.J. Oshie and Jakub Vrana, and he was also promoted to the top power-play unit. "And we have a lot more to do". "We're a very confident group, we know what we have in here, we know what we can do".

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