NHL: The Eastern Conference Semi-Finals

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A Daunting Task for the Tampa Bay Lightning?

The first round of playoff hockey is over, and Lightning fans can breathe easy for the next day and a half until the next round begins, pinning them against yet another conference rival; Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals.

Having inched their way back from being behind 3 games to 1 to the Penguins, it goes without saying the task they accomplished was not as easy as their game 5, 8-2 rout would exemplify. However, with this round in the books, and the Penguins subdued to a long offseason of fun activities such as Golf and watching the NHL playoffs from their couch, the Lightning must move on to face their next opponent.

The Capitals made quick work of the New York Rangers, needing only 5 games to send them packing. This being said, the Lightning will have their work cut out for them against a well rested Alex Ovechkin and Capitals crew. However, The Lightning are coming off of a very emotional and hard fought 3 game win streak and series win and will be just as motivated to outplay their bitter division rivals.

The Capitals dominated the season series against the Lightning. They were 4-1-1 in six games against the Bolts. However, those two very significant wins for the Lightning came after the acquisition of netminder Dwayne Roloson who shut out the Caps in both games; a 1-0 overtime win and a 3-0 rout just 8 days later.

This series is going to be another long one, needing 7 to decide it. It is important for the Lightning to ride their 3 game win streak and game 7 win against the Penguins to their advantage and catch the Capitals off guard. Dwayne Roloson is going to be key in this series as he has been in the season series. He’s done well against the caps and I expect him to do the same here in this series as well. Lightning take the series in 7.

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