Stanley Cup Payoffs: Washington Capitals vs Tampa Bay Lightning Who Wins & Why

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Stanley Cup Payoffs: Washington Capitals vs Tampa Bay Lightning Who Wins & Why
Caps and Bolts get set to do battle

The Washington Capitals have battled a divisional foe one time in the postseason since joining the Southeast Division back in 1998. It was in 2003 when they lost a six game series to the team they are set to face tomorrow night in the second round of the 2011 Eastern Conference semi finals.

The No. 5 seeded Tampa Bay Lightning  will visit the Verizon center in Washington DC for Games 1 and 2, fresh off their come from behind stunning seven game series victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Trailing three games to one, the Lightning scored eight times in game five, four times in game six and just once in game seven but it was enough to take down the Sidney Crosby-less Penguins.

Led by their 41-year-old goaltender, Dwayne Roloson, the Lightning come into Washington with plenty of momentum.

The Capitals did not require as many games to win their first round series, but the drama was high as Washington dispatched the eighth seeded New York Rangers in five games.

The Capitals were also led by their goalie, 23-year-old rookie sensation, Michael Neuvirth. Neuvirth outdueled another cagy veteran in Henrik Lundqvist as the Caps won three-one-goal games and needed overtime to win Games 1 and 4.

The Capitals and Lightning met six times this past regular season, as defense and goaltending remained far from the story lines in several of the contests.

The Capitals were 4-1-1 against the Bolts this season, but were twice shutout by Tampa net minder, Dwayne Roloson.

There are many questions as both teams head into Game 1. Will Roloson be able to continue his mastery in net, and for that matter, will Neuvirth continue to play like a cagy playoff vet himself?

How will all of the scoring power from both teams fair in a seven game series? Will Steven Stamkos, Marty St. Louis and captain Vinny Lecavalier be able to out duel the two Alex's and Nicklas Backstrom?

Or will the Capitals continue their stellar defensive play and turn this series into another low scoring affair?

Click through the slides as I break down everything from goalies to goal scorers in what is sure to be another great playoff battle.

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