Hockey Night in Canada May 19th
Saturday, May 19, 2018
Hockey Night in Canada, April 28th
Washington Capitals @ Tampa Bay Lightning
Tied 2 games on both sides, this series goes back to Tampa Bay, but it feels like the winds have changed and the storm is on it's way. After stealing game 4, Andrei Vasilevskiy is back to being himself. His prowesses really gave the Lightning their confidance back and they will play with a little more swagger tonight. Victor Hedman has been especially dominant in these playoffs, but took over the series during game 3. He quaterbacks the Bolts power-play like a beast and this series is now a battle of special units, that Washington just simply doesn't have the tools to compete.
Washington will have to keep applying pressure to Tampa's wingers and have a third man high, as high as the blueline if he has to, in order to jam the Lightning in their own zone. Most of the Capitals scoring opportunity\goals have been of turnovers along the boards. Obviously the Caps have been more careful since their opponent's PWP has been real clutch. At 31%, Washington needs to stay honest and respect Tampa' man advantage, giving space to players like Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov, Brayden Point and all those skilled players. Which is never a good thing.
Honestly, I feel like Tampa could very well win two straight games and punch their ticket to the Stanley Cup Final, but something is telling me that Alex Ovechkin wants this year to be his...