The last time the Capitals and Lightning saw each other, it was very ugly for one team. Naturally Tampa Bay was much happier about its performance in the four-game second-round sweep in last year’s playoffs.
That series was played with playoff intensity, at least. Monday night’s regular-season showdown was much more sloppy – but players made up for that slop with some entertaining plays and goals. In a word, the Caps’ 6-5 shootout victory was crazy.
“Probably the craziest of all my years of playing,” Lightning goalie Dwayne Roloson said. “Both teams are pretty offensive minded, create a lot. Unfortunately, tonight they scored more than us.”
The goals were fast and furious – as were the mistakes. Roloson was screened on several of the goals he gave up, while Tomas Vokoun admitted this was far from his best game.
“It was just ugly, ugly, ugly game for me,” the Caps’ veteran goalie said.
And while Washington coach Bruce Boudreau said his defense must have been pretty good to limit the Lightning to 23 shots through three periods (while the Caps had 42), some of the play was uneven all around.
Tampa Bay coach Guy Boucher referenced a wild 8-7 game against the Flyers last year and others when talking about the “craziest” games he’s ever seen. But this one was funny – but not funny to the point where coaches can laugh like it’s “America’s Funniest Home Videos.”
“It was a weird game,” Boucher said. “When we watch the other teams play on TV. It’s the same thing – it’s the beginning of the year so, guys are fumbling pucks, turnovers when you usually don’t; weird pucks going in.”
Jason Chimera scored twice. Matt Hendricks scored in the shootout after almost taking a shot to the groin area earlier. Weird sounds about right.
“It was one of those games that I don’t know if you’ll ever see a game like that again,” Chimera said. “I was talking to [Mike Knuble] on the bench and he’s been around for a long time and he said he’s never seen goals like that go in that many times on one goalie.”