Lightning strikes late

Last night's Tampa game was pretty frustrating to watch. The Caps were outplayed by a bit in the first (it felt like more than the stats show, but I suspect that's due to my distractions while watching), but escaped without score. They outplayed Tampa in the second, but a power play goal and a let-down right afterwards led to a pair of goals that eclipsed Washington's only tally.

Chimmer potted his 20th of the season with about four minutes left, bringing the game back to level. But things went sideways shortly thereafter, with Stamkos scoring on a rebound from the doorstep with just over a minute left (his defender was on the wrong side of him to tie up his stick). Neuvy got pulled almost immediately, but they weren't able to take advantage of the extra skater at all, not even getting control of the puck in the offensive zone. And then Stamkos got the puck near the Caps blue line, and tossed it into the net as time expired.

Neuvy had a pretty decent game overall; his defense was mostly letting him down. In fact, if it wasn't for one shot that trickled through his pads, but missed the net by an inch or two, I'd say he had a pretty good game. As it was, I think he played a little better than the stats show (he did have several amazing saves), but probably not a lot.

Rolo, on the other hand, was just on fire. He had several "I can't believe he just stopped that" saves. Plus, you know, he did save thirty-one of thirty-three, so he should get a great deal of credit for Tampa's win.

The loss means the Caps chance of winning the division drops back, probably all the way into single digits. Given that Buffalo has Toronto, Philadelphia, and Boston remaining, the Caps probably only need to win one of their remaining games, but I hope they'll find a way to take both.

Next up is Florida, but that isn't until Thursday. Let's hope the Caps play their best, and seize the game.

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