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Tampa Bay Lightning beats Washington Capitals 3-2 in overtime for 2-0 series lead

WASHINGTON — In previewing Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinal, Lightning coach Guy Boucher said he expected the Capitals, upset by the Game 1 loss, to bombard his team with shots.

Boucher was prescient as Washington gave Tampa Bay goaltender Dwayne Roloson a workout.

Still, the Lightning found a way with a 3-2 overtime victory to sweep two games at the Verizon Center and take a two games to none lead heading back to Tampa.

Vinny Lecavalier's second goal of the game, 6:19 into overtime off a cross-ice pass from Teddy Purcell, was the winner.

Washington's Alex Ovechkin sent the game into overtime with 1:07 left in the third period — and goalie Michal Neuvirth pulled for an extra attacker — when he whacked in a rebound from in front of the net.

That play began, though, with Victor Hedman, a lefty shot using a right-handed stick from teammate Adam Hall after Hedman's stick was knocked out of his hand, failing on a clearing pass.

All that after Marty St. Louis, who had his first points in four games, gave the Lightning a 2-1 lead 7:35 into the period, when his shot banked in off Capitals defenseman Mike Green. Purcell stole the puck from Nicklas Backstrom in the offensive zone to get the assist.

Lecavalier scored a first-period power-play goal, and Roloson was superb with 35 saves, 15 in the second period in which Washington had a 16-3 shot advantage.

The three shots tied a Tampa Bay playoff record. But that was offset by another outstanding effort by the penalty kill, which went 6-for-6 and now is 45-for-46 in the playoffs.

Despite being outshot 11-6 in the first period, Tampa Bay killed three penalties and had a 1-0 lead on Lecavalier's power-play goal with 56.5 seconds left.

Washington forced the play from the start.

Roloson's reflexes were challenged with 6:30 left when Brooks Laich's shot from the high slot deflected off Mike Knuble then the stick of Lightning defenseman Eric Brewer. The puck deflected wildly but softly. And Roloson made the glove save.

But the Lightning broke through on Lecavalier's goal with a huge one-timer that beat Neuvirth to the short, glove side. It was the second time in four periods the Lightning scored in the final minute.

The Capitals rolled over the Lightning in the second period. Washington outshot Tampa Bay 16-3 and tied the score 1-1. But it failed on three more power plays, and Roloson gave it fits.

One of the shots came off Steven Stamkos' stick as he stood in the shot and inadvertently deflected the puck at Roloson. The goalie also was terrific with 7:18 left when he stopped Knuble's redirect in front of the net of Marcus Johansson's cross-ice pass.

The Capitals finally broke through with 5:08 remaining, when Laich scored from in front off a rebound of Backstrom's shot from the slot. Backstrom's shot hit Roloson in the chest. The puck bounced around in front of the crease, from where Laich whacked at it squirted it past Roloson.

Damian Cristodero can be reached at cristodero@sptimes.com.

Tampa Bay Lightning beats Washington Capitals 3-2 in overtime for 2-0 series lead 05/01/11 [Last modified: Monday, May 2, 2011 7:50pm]
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