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Tampa Bay Lightning
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So now we have a three-game series between the Washington Capitals and Boston Bruins. What's not to like? For over a week these two teams have been exchanging goals, blows, dirty looks --- everything but phone numbers --- and they're all tied up, 2-2. Does anybody really want to see it end any sooner than it has to?
Brent Sutter wasn't out of work for long.
Mike Green saw the white netting staring at him. The backdoor pass from Alex Ovechkin was so perfect that all Green had to do was not miss the open net and he had his first goal since October.
Steven Stamkos isn't a secret weapon. At 56 goals through 78 games, he might've been the worst-kept secret around the Tampa Bay Lightning. He scores, seemingly at will, and the Washington Capitals knew they had to stop him to win Monday night.
Eliminated from playoff contention, the Lightning talked about playing for the fans in their final game at Tampa Bay Times Forum during a disappointing season. The pregame message on the video screens provided plenty of sources of intangible motivation, like pride and teammates.
The Washington Capitals have already played 47 games without Mike Green. Now they'll have to play three more, as the defenseman was suspended three games by the NHL on Friday for a shot to the head of Tampa Bay Lightning forward Brett Connolly.
Before Alex Ovechkin won Thursday night's game in overtime for the Washington Capitals, Alexander Semin could have. He had a Grade-A chance in the slot and couldn't bury it.
When Dale Hunter took the job as Washington Capitals coach in November, former teammates made it clear that he wasn't a player who would throw fits in the locker room to fire teams up.
Debate was sharp on both sides. What was certain: Mike Green's left arm made contact with Brett Connolly's head along the boards and sent the Tampa Bay Lightning forward crumbling to the ice.