Ron and Don: Lightning 'should be ashamed of themselves' after Game 1

Capitals bust rust, explode early for win in first Conference Final game since 1998

But game-to-game results in the Stanley Cup playoffs are an oddly fickle entity. Nikita Kucherov hasn't lost sight of it. Now in his first playoff run, Sergachev has scored two postseason goals - the first coming in Game 5 of the first round against New Jersey after he collected a pass at the top of the circle and sent in a shot through traffic to give the Lightning a 1-0 lead en route to a 3-1 series-clinching victory. The Lightning were already cooked. That's what we want to do tomorrow. Well, folks, that's why they play the games. That could be a reflection of teams having greater trust in young players arriving from junior hockey or college, or the need to stock rosters with cheap talent as a greater percentage of the salary cap is devoted to the elite. I want them to talk the next day and say, 'I saw [Steven Stamkos] make this nice play. I think we're playing the full 200 feet that you need to play at playoff time and you're getting the goaltending you need and you're getting the commitment and you're getting the work ethic and you're getting the discipline and detail. They opened the game with four unanswered goals to win 4-2 in a game where the game wasn't as close as the score suggests.

The Lightning had a highlight-reel goal disallowed with seven seconds left in the first that would have tied the game.

Coach Barry Trotz said Saturday that he's "optimistic" the star center will indeed suit up.

"Obviously we wanted to go after them in the first period".

The Lightning didn't shoot the puck either. What happened next? Tampa ripped off four straight wins, allowing all of two five-on-five goals the rest of the way.

"That's why we came in the room and said, 'Oh, we didn't have [scoring] chances, '" Kucherov said. "Sometimes they're amusing. Sometimes they're naive", Trotz said. We were a little high. We just didn't treat it that way.

- After a productive Saturday practice, all quiet on the ice this morning during the time the Lightning would normally have their optional skate. Scoring in the loss was Steven Stamkos, which was his 4th of the playoffs and Ondrej Palat, which was his 5th of the playoffs. "We [went] off the game plan". "All four lines played very good in the first period".

"There were so many good things we've done in two rounds of hockey that I think if you bottled up all the bad things in those first 10 games it would be about half of what we did in that one game last night", Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said. It's how you rebound from the disappointments that ultimately define a team.

The Lightning can feel confident knowing they've battled out of this position before. In winning Game 1, the Capitals did what Holtby called "trying to control the controllables". They should be ashamed of themselves.

"We were definitely a lot sloppier on our end", McDonagh said. "That's the way we look at it". Can they keep it going in this one?

"The only change needed is everybody has to play way better", said Cooper. "After this practice, the page has been turned". Trotz's optimism that the Swedish pivot will be ready to return at some point during the Eastern Conference finals doesn't bode well for his availability for Game 2, but his status for that contest should be confirmed prior to puck drop Sunday evening.

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