WASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 26: Martin St Louis #26 of the Tampa Bay Lightning brings the puck up the ice against the Washington Capitals at the Verizon Center on November 26 2010 in Washington DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

2011 NHL Playoffs, Lightning Vs. Capitals: Southeast Rivals Battle In Round Two

Two Southeast Division teams have never faced off after the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs -- until now. The Washington Capitals and Tampa Bay Lightning kick off their series Friday night.

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2011 NHL Playoffs, Lightning Vs. Capitals: Southeast Rivals Battle In Round Two

Two Southeast Division teams have never met in the postseason beyond the first round -- until now. In fact, this upcoming NHL playoff series between the Washington Capitals and Tampa Bay Lightning is also just the second time two Southeast Division teams have met in the postseason.

And you wondered where the Southleast jokes came from? 

Seriously though, there's nothing to detract from either team in this Eastern Conference Semifinal series. The Capitals have had a lot of success against the Bolts this season, but Tampa proved in the first round against the Pittsburgh Penguins that a potent offense can defeat even the most committed defensive scheme. 

Tampa brings a lot to the table under Guy Boucher. They're able to score at will when they have all their big guns firing, but they're also able to fall back into the trap when they have the lead. Obviously, the Capitals have a lot of firepower on their own, and with Washington's new-found commitment to defense, this series could easily come down to the wire.

Dwayne Roloson leads the Bolts into battle. The 41-year-old was a big part of the series win over Pittsburgh. For the Capitals, it's Michal Neuvirth, the rookie who was phenomenal in the first round series against the New York Rangers.

Series Schedule

Game 1: at Washington - Friday, April 29 - 7 p.m., VERSUS, TSN
Game 2: at Washington - Sunday, May 1 - 7 p.m., VERSUS, CBC
Game 3: at Tampa Bay - Tuesday, May 3 - 6:30 p.m., VERSUS, TSN
Game 4: at Tampa Bay - Wednesday, May 4 - 7 p.m., TSN
Game 5*: at Washington - Saturday, May 7 -  12:30 p.m., NBC, TSN
Game 6*: at Tampa Bay - Monday, May 9 - TBD, VERSUS, TSN
Game 7*: at Washington - Wednesday, May 11 - TBD, VERSUS, TSN    

For more on the series, be sure to check our Lightning vs. Capitals hub. For more specific, local coverage from the fans who care, be sure to check in with Raw Charge, covering the Lightning, and Japers' Rink, covering the Caps.

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