Capitals swept out of playoffs


Minutes after the Washington Capitals were swept out of the Stanley Cup play-offs various sports outlets were wondering whether Bruce Boudreau will be back as coach next year. For the past few seasons the Capitals have had a tendency to excite their fans with stellar regular seasons only to drastically underachieve come spring time. Last year after winning the President’s Trophy the Capitals shocked the hockey world by losing in the opening round to the Montreal Canadiens. This year after beating the New York Rangers in the first round the Capitals lost in the Eastern Conference semi finals against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Despite the Lightning surprising the hockey world by making it this far they are not yet ready to go crazy by celebrating. “We’re definately happy, but we’re not popping champagne or anything,” Penguins forward Ryan Malone who scored a goal in Tampa’s 5-3 series clinching win on Wednesday said. “We know what our goal is and we have to keep going and stay even keel. We haven’t done anything yet.” A big reason why the Capitals are now eliminated is the strong play of Tampa’s third line forward Sean Bergenheim who continued his sudden surge offensively with two goals. “Every top game, every important game, every game that there is some pressure, he was in it,” Tampa coach Guy Boucher said. “He was one of our better players.” Bergenheim sstruck twice within eight minutes during the third period to turn what was a 1-1 game at the time to a 3-1 Lightning lead. “It just seemed like they had an answer for everything that we threw at them,” Capitals defenceman Karl Alzner said. “That’s kind of the tough part. We didn’t get rewarded for everything that we threw at them.” A big reason for that was the strong play of Lightning goaltender Dwayne Roloson who stopped 33 shots in this deciding game and has not allowed more than three goals in any of his 10 playoff starts. Scoring the fourth Tampa goal was defenceman Marc-Andre Bergeron and veteran forward Martin St. Louis put the series away with the fifth Tampa goal with less than four minutes remaining in regulation. Meanwhile Washington got their goals from forward Marco Sturm and defenceman John Carlson and John Erskine. Following the series Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin was full of praise for Roloson in calling him outstanding. “We were hungry and we wanted to win,” Ovechkin who had five shots and only one assist in that last game said. “We wanted to win. They wanted to win. Somebody had to lose. I don’t know what to say right now.” The Lightning will now get some much deserved time off as they will play the winner of the Boston Bruins vs. Philadelphia Flyers series.


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