#8 Alex Ovechkin
While Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin is quite a few points shy of the 100-point season had by Nikita Kucherov, he has still been quite a force to be reckoned with on the ice this season. In fact, there are some regards in which he was a league-leader.
Alex Ovechkin played in every single regular season game with the Capitals this season. Over the course of 82 games, Ovi brought home 49 goals and 38 assists for a total of 87 points. These numbers earned Ovechkin the top spot in the NHL in Goals.
Much like Nikita Kucherov, Alex Ovechkin’s on-ice production did not end when the buzzer sounded to end the regular season. Ovi has played in 12 postseason contests with the Caps this season, scoring eight goals and seven assists for a total of 15 points thus far.
Ovechkin has also been a driving force of the Capitals Power Play unit. He currently has three goals and three assists for a total of six points on the Power Play in the postseason. This is definitely not a good thing for the Lightning considering the abysmal state of their Penalty Kill.
One thing Ovechkin is not exactly known for is his assists. This could work to the advantage of the Lightning. If the Bolts defense can find a way to shut down Alex Ovechkin, they could potentially shut down his entire line.
The Lightning, who has an entire roster full of young talent hungry to claim their piece of history, can score from just about anywhere. If the Lightning can play to Ovechkin’s vanity and ultimately shut him down, the Bolts could easily gain the early advantage over the Caps.
No matter which way you look at it, Alex Ovechkin is a force to be reckoned with on the ice and he brings a lot of veteran presence to the Capitals lineup. Two of the most obvious keys to a Lightning victory here is staying out of the box and shutting down Alex Ovechkin.