The Washington Capitals have finally begun to capitalize on their numbers advantage in shots on goal, as well as some bad penalties by the Tampa Bay Lighting. As a result, they lead by a score of 3-2 after the second period, and they will be carrying some serious momentum into the final 20 minutes.
Things didn't go Washington's way in the first, but they didn't waste any time creating their first scoring chance, and subsequently, their first goal at the beginning of the second period. Less than a minute into the game, Alexander Ovechkin made a great steal at his defensive blue line and took off down the ice, beating the Bolts' defenders with his speed. Just like Michal Neuvirth at the end of the second period, Dwayne Roloson made a fantastic low pad save on a backhand attempt by Ovechkin on the breakaway. However, Roloson's teammates fell asleep after the save, thinking the threat was over. This allowed Ovechkin to center the puck and Mike Knuble to tap it in after a scramble, leveling the score at 1-1.
Seven minutes later, the Caps would take the lead on a great goal from John Carlson. During a spell of possession where the Caps got the puck deep in the Tampa Bay zone, Jason Chimera flipped a pass towards the blue line from close to goal. Eric Fehr did well to set up in front of Roloson just as Carlson took his shot, and the Tampa Bay goalie was left powerless to locate the puck as he was screened by both Fehr and two of his own defensemen. The puck went through Victor Hedman's legs into the net, and the Caps went ahead 2-1.
The Bolts got a goal back, thanks to another piece of goalkeeping by Neuvirth and some serious persistence in front of the goal by Vincent Lecavalier. With eight minutes remaining in the period, Martin St. Louis through a puck at the net, and it was deflected slightly by Lecavalier, once again beating Neuvirth five-hole.
Tampa Bay gifted the lead right back to Washington at the end of the period, though, as both Brett Clark and Adam Hall picked up hooking penalties in quick succession, giving the Caps a lengthy five-on-three opportunity. They made the most of it, as Ovechkin scored his team's third goal of the period off of a rebound, with the assists granted to Alexander Semin and Mike Green. It's 3-2 in favor of Washington at the end of the second period, and Caps fans are probably feeling confident that their team can get back into the series.