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Thursday May 5, 2011 4:31 am

Tampa Bay Lightning complete sweep of Washington Capitals




Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Athletes, NHL, Playoffs,

Alex OvechkinWhat does a Tampa Bay Lightning sweep of the Washington Capitals mean? It means the 41-year-old Dwayne Roloson can still mind net. It means the Lightning are going to the Eastern Conference Final. But most importantly, it means that Bruce Boudreau’s coaching career in Washington may be over. His Capitals, who had a better record than any other team in the East, now have a lot of navel-gazing to do as they try to figure out what happened this time.

As the only Eastern team to cruise through the first round, taking out the Rangers in five games, Washington spread out 10 goals in the series against Tampa, but managed to find themselves on the wrong side of the score each time; never scoring more than three in a game. The fact that Alex Ovechkin, Alex Semin and Nicklas Backstrom combined for seven points in four games didn’t help the cause much either.

The Capitals, despite finishing first in their division for the past four seasons, averaging 107.5 points per season, haven’t made it past the second round over that span. Regular season success means nothing if it doesn’t translate to the playoffs and that doesn’t hold truer with any other team than the Capitals, who have been little more than a pushover in the grand scheme. Maybe the extra days off between rounds hurt the Capitals more than it helped.

The Lightning now wait for the winner of the Boston/Philadelphia series, and with a 3-0 series lead, the Bruins have a large upper hand. Roloson will try to carry his 2.44 goals against average and .925 save percentage against the Capitals into the Eastern finals and guys like Steven Stamkos, Vincent Lecavalier and Sean Bergenheim are ready to go. They probably just hope they won’t have to wait a week before they get back into a game like the Capitals did.

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