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Lecavalier sends Bolts home up 2-0

by Brian Compton /
WASHINGTON -- The Tampa Bay Lightning are going home with a 2-0 lead in this Eastern Conference Semifinal against the Washington Capitals, and Vincent Lecavalier is a big reason why.

The Lightning's captain scored twice -- including the game-winner at 6:19 of overtime -- as the Bolts survived a swarming offensive attack in a 3-2 victory at Verizon Center.

Lecavalier, who now has 4 goals this postseason, spoke with reporters after the Lightning's fifth straight win.

Q: How big was this win, especially considering the Capitals tied the game that late in the third period?

A: It definitely means a lot. Once again, they played a great game. They came after us and Rollie (Dwayne Roloson) made some huge saves all night. Even in overtime, they played pretty solid. We took advantage of our chances.

Q: Can you break down the winning goal?

A: I went on the ice, and I saw Teddy Purcell was going to get the loose puck. I was just hoping it would get by the defenseman, and it did. I just tried to get it high. Last game, I tried going between his legs. If I tried to put it high, I'd have a chance.

Q: Were you surprised by how much time and space you had?

A: I'm not sure if they were on a change. It's just one of those things that happened. It was kind of like a 2-on-1, but I just knew that if he got it over that I would get a little bit of time to make a play.

Q: Teddy Purcell made a huge play to strip Nicklas Backstrom of the puck on the goal in the third period and then sets you up in overtime. Was this just another case of how everyone on this team is contributing?

A: It's huge. You've got to look at the penalty-killing tonight. They did such a great job. That's the difference right there. We gave them a lot of power plays. We were a little bit undisciplined with our sticks. But our penalty-killing was just phenomenal. They played great. But the Caps really had some great chances. It was nice for us to get that win.

Q: What was said in the locker room after the Caps tied it?

A: We kind of went through it against Pittsburgh. In overtime, if it's your first time, maybe you panic. But I think everybody in there reloaded. We realized the situation, that it was 2-2 and we still had a chance to win. You just need one good chance, and that's what happened.

Q: What was the key to surviving that second period?

A: Rollie. They played a really gritty, hard-nosed game and came out hard. After winning that first game, we knew they'd come out hard. I think we were just opportunistic.

Q: What does it mean to go home up 2-0?

A: Well, it's nice to get the two wins. We know how it went against Pittsburgh. It was the other way around, but we know it's not over until it's over. It's obviously far from being over against a team like Washington. You can't let your guard. We have to go home and play some good hockey.

Q: There's been a lot of disappointment in Washington in the playoffs the last three years. Did you get a sense that if you get on them early in this series you might be able to break them a little bit?

A: I'm not sure. They seem very determined. They kept coming back, coming back, coming back. We were just opportunists. They had a lot of good chances. Of course, you want to try to get a lead not just on Washington, but on any team. In playoffs, every game's really important. Tonight, it could have been 1-1. We'll go home and try to get a win there.

Q: How were you guys able to just flip the switch defensively and play so strong in your own end in the third period?

A: We came back to the room after the second and said, 'Guys, let's calm down here. We're not playing the way we should play.' We gave them a lot of turnovers in the second period. We just calmed down and played like we did in the first and got our chances.

Follow Brian Compton on Twitter: @BComptonNHL
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