Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Washington Capitals series preview

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Vasilevskiy has looked really good after stating late in the season that he was feeling worn out, so it's going to be interesting to see what happens if that Capitals can continue their strong 5-on-5 play coupled with a very unsafe power play.

The Washington Capitals will face The Tampa Bay Lightning as the NHL's Eastern Conference Playoff continues, starting on Friday May 11, and continuing through Wednesday May 23, if 7 games are needed. Not in the slightest because a Vegas-Washington matchup is quite possible and might be orefeeed by the National Hockey League because they can sell the glitz of the strip and Ovechkin in their ad campaigns. Oshie finished the night with a three shots on goal and one hit in 19:29 of ice time. So, the good news for the Bolts is that they've been a far superior possession team to the Capitals and more dominant in every 5-on-5 underlying statistic, be it shots, shot attempts, scoring chances or high-danger chances. We just wanted our other rivals, the Preds, to lose. Tampa must stay out of the box, as their penalty killing hasn't been a major issue and power play a key for the Caps. It's effort. Everybody was paying the price. If the top pairings cancel out the top-sixes, a goal from the likes of Washington's Brett Connolly or Tampa Bay's Anthony Cirelli could be huge.

Winnipeg just took out one of the prohibitive favourites to go all the way in Nashville and looked really strong in the process. However, we all know the playoffs come down to a hot goalie.

Out west, the Western Conference Finals consists of two teams nobody thought would be there in October. Round two was similar, Washington dropped Game 1 at home and then alternated games with Pittsburgh until claiming Game 5 and stealing Game 6 on the road. Lars Eller's power play goal gave the Caps the 4-0 lead they would take into the third period before Tampa Bay answered with a pair of lamp-lighters in the final period.

Capitals coach Barry Trotz said that when Backstrom says he's ready, he'll be in the lineup. Jay Beagle made it a 3-0 game at 2:40 of the second. The Capitals, led by the indomitable Alex Ovechkin, mostly outplayed the vaunted Pengins throughout their second round series, but in the past, it was always the Pens who came up biggest in the most momentous occasions. Miller gave Tampa Bay a 2-1 advantage with six minutes left in the second period, while Stralman scored his first goal of the playoffs with 1:29 left in regulation to add an insurance tally. He's posted eight wins in 10 starts, all the while boasting a.926 save percentage. In addition, Andre Burakovsky, out the first two rounds of the postseason, is skating and might return during this series.

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The Lightning really got balanced scoring throughout the series.

The Washington Capitals had not played in an Eastern Conference Final since 1998.

The one area that looks like it might be an advantage for the Capitals at even strength is off the rush, where Washington produces far more offence than Tampa Bay does, but the Lightning have been one of the better teams in the playoffs at defending rush chances. "In hindsight we were in the same position after the last round and found a way to respond". We've been in this situation before, unfortunately. "We have to do the same here". Evgeni Kuznetsov has seven goals, seven assists ... Tampa Bay won both previous meetings, including a sweep in the Eastern Conference semifinals seven years ago.

The Lightning, for 50 minutes a night, have Victor Hedman or Ryan McDonagh out on the ice.

Few teams can match the Lightning's top two forward lines, but if Nicklas Backstrom is healthy, Washington can. The Caps have outscored opponents 14-3 in the opening period this postseason. They are going to make it to the SCF, barring a miracle performance for Fleury.

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