Monday, August 19, 2019

Capitals beat Lightning to reach first Stanley Cup final since 1998


Alex Ovechkin scored early and Andre Burakovsky added two second-period goals to assist the Washington Capitals put their playoff frustration to their rear by using a 4-0 victory above the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 7 with the Eastern Conference final on Wednesday night. 

Braden Holtby stopped 29 shots for his second straight shutout and the Lightning, who led the NHL in goals through the regular season, never score in the last 159 minutes and 27 seconds, a stretch of nearly eight periods.

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Ovechkin, who had not advanced past the second round, scored 1:02 into your winner-take-all showdown he has known as maybe the “biggest game around my life.” Nicklas Backstrom had an empty-netter to carry out the rout.

To earn somewhere from the Stanley Cup Final, where they’ll participate in the Vegas Golden Knights, the Capitals beat the top-seeded Lightning 3x on the streets, improving to 8-2 out of the house this postseason.  It’s Washington’s first Cup Final appearance since 1998, and the first during Ovechkin’s 13-year career.

It was the 33rd amount of league history that a Game 7 was required to determine a Stanley Cup finalist. Home teams are 21-12 in those games.

Tampa Bay also played Game 7 inside Eastern Conference final in 2019, after they blanked the New York Rangers, and again couple of years ago, if they lost 2-1 to Pittsburgh. The two of those deciding games were traveling. The Lightning had not lost a casino game 7 in your own home before Wednesday night. 

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