After a week of rest and watching their fellow Eastern Conference teams battle it down to the wire, the Capitals will be itching to hit the ice tomorrow against a familiar foe - the Tampa Bay Lightning. The NHL released the schedule for Round Two late last night after the Habs/Bruins and Pens/Lightning games wound up. Here goes, folks:
Friday, April 29, 2011 7 p.m. TB Lightning at Washington VERSUS, TSN
Sunday, May 1, 2011 7 p.m. TB Lightning at Washington VERSUS, CBC
Tuesday, May 3, 2011 TBD Washington at TB Lightning CSN, VERSUS, TSN
Wednesday, May 4, 2011 7 p.m. Washington at TB Lightning CSN, TSN
*Saturday, May 7, 2011 12:30 p.m. TB Lightning at Washington NBC, TSN
*Monday, May 9, 2011 TBD Washington at TB Lightning CSN, VERSUS, TSN
*Wednesday, May 11, 2011 TBD TB Lightning at Washington CSN, VERSUS, TSN
The Lightning held their own against a Penguins team that has suffered offensively since losing Crosby and Malkin. The Penguins' faithful actually booed their own team's pitiful power play last night - poor form people, obviously those fans have not read the Blonde Girls' Guide to fandom. Never.Boo.Your.Team....
Nonetheless, the Pens are toast and we can look forward to more colorful conversation between Bolts bad boy Steve Downie and Caps hero in residence Matt Hendricks. Steven Stamkos has regained his scoring touch, notching seven playoff points, while the pocket-sized but dangerous Martin St. Louis was just named a finalist for the NHL's Hart MVP Trophy. Sean Bergenheim has netted three goals thus far this playoffs, while the Pens series saw the first ever playoff tally from agitator Downie. Lightning netminder Dwayne Roloson (who at the ripe old age of 41, must be taking his vitamins indeed) earned the shut out last night and boasts a .949 save percentage. You'll recall the old man gave the Capitals fits earlier this season. Familiar indeed, but certainly not an opponent the Caps can take lightly as they learned during the regular season.
The Caps hope to see the return of both Mike Knuble and Dennis Wideman at some point in the series, but though both guys have been participating in practice, that remains to be seen. Get ready for Round Two action - a little more than 24 hours away!