We've been treated to one hell of a Game 4 in the Eastern Conference Final so far with the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Washington Capitals going head to head in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs on Thursday night.
We have had some extremely fast paced hockey played thus far in this game and despite the fact that both teams have held the lead at different points in this game the two teams left the ice in the second period and headed back to the locker room all tied up at 2 - 2. There have been plenty of chances on both sides throughout the game so far but in the second period in felt like the Capitals largely controlled the action after the Lightning shot themselves in the foot with some ill timed penalties, including one to Victor Hedman one of their very best penalty killers.
The tone for the second period may have been set early on when a huge hit from T.J. Oshie sent a clear message to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Oshie absolutely crushed Lightning center Cedric Pacquette with a thunderous hit along the boards behind the net and that seemed to spark his Washington Capital teammates. The hit launched Pacquette into the air and even had him going full on horizontal in mid air at one point, so violent was the impact. From that moment forward it seemed like the Capitals took over the momentum of the second period and they recorded the only goal of the frame, a goal that allowed them to head into the break all tied up.
To the credit of Pacquette who clearly took a violent and forceful hit on this play, he did an excellent job of playing it off like he hadn't been to shaken up on the play. Pacquette looked around a little after the huge hit and seemed to be a little bit at a loss but that only lasted a few seconds before he picked up his stick and quickly got back into the play.
Of course this by no means that the hit he received felt good or even that he is able to immediately brush off the ill effects of that hit, but it showed his teammates that he was ok.