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Around the NHL: Capitals Halfway to Reaching Final

16 May, 2018, 14:26 | Author: Candice Daniels
  • Around the NHL: Capitals Halfway to Reaching Final

It's enough of a shock that the Capitals take the ice at Capital One Arena Tuesday night with a 2-0 lead over the Lightning in the Eastern Conference final. The Capitals know first hand how risky it can be to squander a 2-0 lead at home, having survived being in the Lightning's position in the opening round when they dropped the first two games to the Columbus Blue Jackets only to win three straight road games en route to a 4-2 series win.

Backstrom missed most of the third period in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Pittsburgh Penguins and was held out for Game 6 as the Capitals clinched the series. The 30-year-old had 21 goals and 50 assists in the regular season.

There should be no problems on Thursday for the game between the Capitals and Tampa Bay Lightning. "These first two games, that's the way we've played". But postseason history and their own stellar play without all their pieces available give the Capitals plenty of reason for confidence.

The Capitals score with just 3:02 remaining in the game.

It was about an hour before the start of Game 3 when Nikita Kucherov grabbed a ball and glove and began to play catch in the middle of a hallway with a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning's communications staff. Even with the horrendous calls in the first period of Game 2, the Caps prevailed, and it wasn't even close. The Lightning power play is now 5 for 12 in the series. For us to get two (power-play) goals today and shut them down on the PK was big. "The goal is to win a championship, but we can't look too far ahead", Stamkos told reporters following the game.

A late goal in the second period from Brett Connolly and another from Evgeny Kuznetsov in the third made it interesting.

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But soon after, Steven Stamkos rocketed the Lightnings first goal — a one-timer on a power play from the left circle — and Tampa Bay didnt let up.

In the first two games, Washington scored goals in the waning seconds of a period in each contest.

Victor Hedman upped the lead to 3-0 at 3:37 with Brayden Point giving the Bolts a 4-1 edge with his tally at 16:03 of the second period.

This isn't to say the Caps played poorly and still won in those games because of fluky goals.

Carrying all of that into a Game 3 against a desperate team doesn't guarantee anything.

In the Western Conference Final, the Winnipeg Jets and Vegas Golden Knights split the first two games of the series in Winnipeg as the series heads to Las Vegas. He has two goals, each on the power play, and four assists in a five-game point streak.

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