Photo: NHL via Getty Images
The Washington Capitals rallied in Game 6 on Monday night in front of the home crowd in DC. The crowd was electric and wild, and the Capitals gave them every reason to be with their dominant 3-0 victory. The Capitals and Lightning will head back to Tampa for Game 7 that takes place on Wednesday night. Puck drop is at 8 PM on NBCSN.
TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING
The Lightning were held scoreless in Game 6. Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos were held to a combined two shots on goal and zero points.
Lightning Head Coach Jon Cooper mentioned after the Game 6 loss that the Lightning had a tough time generating shots. He mentioned that the Capitals did a good job of blocking shots and getting into the lanes. Because of the Capitals stingy defensive play, the Lightning forced too many shots wide of the net.
“First of all, you’ve got to shoot the puck. And then when we do shoot the puck, we’re having way too many blocked and we’re missing the net way too much.”#TBLvsWSH Game 6 | Jon Cooper: pic.twitter.com/ROzrKis5m6
— #GoBolts (@TBLightning) May 22, 2018
Even with the Game 6 loss, the Lightning are experienced in these big game scenarios. This will be their 3rd Conference Finals Game 7 in 4 years. They last played a Game 7 Conference Finals game against Pittsburgh during the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The good news for the Lightning is that goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy has been outstanding in these playoffs. He has recorded 11 wins, a 2.55 goals against average, and .920 save percentage in the playoffs. He made 31 saves in Game 6.
The Capitals were very physical in Game 6. The Capitals outhit the Lightning 39-19 in the game, and it felt like every hit that occurred in the game was not recorded. The bodies banged all game, and the Capitals had the edge in blocked shots too.
The Capitals edged the Lightning in shots on goal for Game 6 too. They outshot the Lightning 34-24 in the game. T.J. Oshie and Evgeny Kuznetsov each recorded 5 shots a piece. Oshie netted the game-winning goal and added an empty-net tally late in the third period.
— NHL GIFs (@NHLGIFs) May 22, 2018
Braden Holtby recorded his first shutout of this postseason. It was his fifth career postseason shutout. In this postseason, Holtby has recorded 11 wins, a 2.16 goals against average, and .919 save percentage.
Hitting and physicality is a big part of the Capitals game, and it is something that they must bring back for Game 7 in Tampa. Look no further than players like Tom Wilson and Devante Smith-Pelly that have performed very well in these playoffs.
“We don’t have satisfaction yet. We still don’t reach our goal.” — Alex Ovechkin on preparing for Wednesday’s Game 7 in Tampa. pic.twitter.com/g7os0ZAvOo
— Tarik El-Bashir⌨🎙🏒 (@TarikNBCS) May 22, 2018
By: George Foussekis