Caps' Boudreau not whining, just explaining

Washington Capitals head coach Bruce Boudreau wasn't happy with a couple of crucial plays in Tuesday's devastating 4-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning, a loss that put them in a 3-0 series hole.

First, the Capitals had a power-play goal waived off in the first period when they were called for too many men on the ice.

"[Brooks] Laich was playing defense and he came off the ice and [Alexander] Semin went on and [John] Carlson went on. Carlson was supposed to go on," Boudreau said.

"Still if you look at that play, the goal was in the net before the referees made the call and it wasn't the referees that made the call at all. The linesman told Dan O'Rourke that there was too many men on the ice. I don't know. There was definitely too many men, but he didn't make it past the red line before they called it. I know it sounds like whining, but if you ask me the question I'm just explaining, but nobody got into the play," he said.

"The rule is ambiguous to the coaches or to me at least," Boudreau added.

The other play Boudreau didn't like was the Lightning's winning goal by Ryan Malone as he crashed the net and a centering pass by Nate Thompson went in on off Malone's body.

"If you look at it, Malone's driving the net and pushes our player into our goaltender, and he can't kick out his right leg to make the save. It's a no-goal, no-penalty call. I mean it's one of the best referees in the league and I'm full of respect for him but I don't think it should have counted," Boudreau said.

Washington defenseman Mike Green played just 59 seconds in the third period.

"He got a lower-body injury," Boudreau said. It's not known whether he will be available for Game 4 Wednesday night.

Boudreau wasn't keen on the play of Michal Neuvirth early in the game but praised his rookie netminder for holding the fort after the Lightning took the lead with two goals 24 seconds apart in the third.

"I thought a couple of the goals he should have had. But at the same time when they got the lead he kept us in the game. I think we as a group got a little bit lost our composure there and had giveaways and he was there to keep us involved in the game," Boudreau said.

Tampa head coach Guy Boucher had high praise for sniper Steven Stamkos and not just because Stamkos scored on a laser to tie the game at 3-3 early in the third period.

"He was going out for the last 30 seconds [of the game]. That says a lot because if I'm having those guys out in the last 30 seconds it's not to go score in the open net. It's to make sure the other team doesn't score on your net," Boucher said.

"I'm real proud of him. He's come a long way very fast."