On Friday night, the Washington Capitals and Tampa Bay Lightning square off for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final. Check below for full TV listings, streaming information and more.
Well Washington Capitals fans, it finally happened. Your team has advanced beyond Round 2, beating the Pittsburgh Penguins no less, and will get set to face a tough Tampa Bay Lightning club in Round 3. There are a good few storylines to go around, but since it’s only Game 1, we’ll stick with just a couple to start.
For the Capitals, this will be their first trip to the Eastern Conference Final in the Alex Ovechkin era. That’s a good 12 to 13 years of futility while having the greatest goal scorer in a generation. But no more can be heaped onto their shoulders about never having made it this far.
In keeping on the Washington side, does anyone remember way back when head coach Barry Trotz messed around and started goaltender Philipp Grubauer the first two games against the Columbus Blue Jackets? That seems decades ago. Since those two contests, Braden Holtby has been dynamite in proving his playoff mettle. He was mostly brilliant in six games against the Penguins, allowing 13 goals. Now he has an opportunity to quell the “Washington always chokes” label even further.
Lightning vs. Capitals Game 1:
Date: Friday, May 11
Time: 8:00 p.m., EST
Location: Amalie Arena, Tampa Bay
Live stream: Fubo.tv. Sign up now for a free trial.
The Tampa Bay Lightning come into this series will high hopes probably higher than Washington. After storming through the regular season en route to the top spot in the Eastern Conference, they had no trouble dismantling both the New Jersey Devils and Boston Bruins in five games.
The Bolts will be a difficult test in that they offer plenty of forward depth and scoring. Led by Nikita Kucherov, they also have Brayden Point with 10 points, Steven Stamkos with 10, Ondrej Palat with four goals and eight points, and J.T. Miller has seven points in 10 games.
Meanwhile, goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy returned to regular season form in dusting the Devils and B’s. He’s posted a 2.20 goals against average and a .927 save percentage so far. The battle between Vasilevskiy and Holtby is a duel to watch.
Players to watch, Game 1
Capitals: Alex Ovechkin. Who else would we choose for the first game of the series? Through 12 games, he’s put up eight goals and seven assists with a plus-three rating. As mentioned, this will be his first appearance in a Conference Final, so look for Ovi to dial it up even more. Granted, I was critical of Ovechkin before the Pittsburgh series, but this is a much-deserved spot for him to be in. The spotlight won’t be too bright now for Alexander the Great.
Lightning: Brayden Point. At times, Point was a wizard in helping his team eliminate the Bruins in five games. That includes seven points, four of which came in Game 2. If Tampa Bay is to advance to the Stanley Cup again after a three-year absence, it’ll need players like him to continue their excellent play.
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