The Tampa Bay Lightning embarks on the next stage of their journey tonight as they take on the Washington Capitals in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final.
The moment everyone here in the Bolts Nation has waited for is about to kick into high gear. In just a few hours, the Tampa Bay Lightning will open the doors to the Amalie Arena to host the Washington Capitals in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final.
There is no denying the Lightning had the edge over the Capitals in the regular season. In the three meetings between these two teams this season, the Lightning emerged victoriously in two. The final meeting of the regular season ended with a 4-2 victory for the Bolts back on February 20.
Here’s the thing, though…the regular season essentially goes out the window once the Stanley Cup Playoffs kick off. Each and every game in the postseason starts off zero to zero, putting everyone on an even keel with the same opportunity to win. The difference comes in which team is willing to work harder for it.
All but two Tampa Bay Lightning players have picked up points in the postseason, contributing to the Lightning’s success. Leading the way is Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov. In the 10 games Kucherov has played in the postseason, he has earned six goals and six assists for a total of 12 points.
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Just behind Kucherov is young Lightning forward Brayden Point. Point is one of the four Lightning players making their NHL Playoff debut this season. During the postseason, Point has continued to stun opponents, picking up four goals and six assists for a total of 10 points.
Just because the Lightning roster is filled to the brim with talented players doesn’t mean the Bolts will be able to bring anything less than their ‘A’ game against the Capitals. Underestimating other teams has gotten the Lightning in quite a bit of trouble this season and at this stage in the game, a team can ill-afford to give their opponents any unnecessary opportunities.
The Capitals are going to be playing with a lot of extra fuel on their fire tonight. This is the first time the Capitals have made it to the Eastern Conference Final since the 1997-98 season. While they were victorious against the Buffalo Sabres in the Conference Final, they were swept by the Detroit Red Wings in the Cup Final.
There is a lot on the line for both teams. Only one team can emerge victoriously and represent the Eastern Conference in the Stanley Cup Final. The question now becomes which team wants it more and which team is willing to leave it all out on the ice for the chance to claim their destiny.
If you were not one of the 19,092 fans lucky enough to score a ticket to tonight’s Game 1 matchup, there are still plenty of ways you can stay on top of the action. Here’s a look at all the information you’ll need to make sure you don’t miss a thing between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Washington Capitals.
Game: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Washington Capitals
Venue: Amalie Arena
Location: Tampa, Florida
Date: Friday, May 11,, 2018
Start Time: 8:00 p.m. EST
TV Info: NBC Sports Network, CBC, SN, TVAS
Radio Info: Lightning Radio on 970WFLA or TBL Power Play on iHeartRadio
Live Stream: NBC Sports App available in the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store
Much like the series which have come before, the Tampa Bay Lightning is going to need their Thunder tonight. We want everyone inside the Amalie Arena to cheer until your voice simply can’t give anymore and show the Washington Capitals how we do things here in the Bolts Nation!
It’s going to be an exciting series between these two talented teams. The scoring talent on both sides of the ice is off the charts and goaltenders Andrei Vasilevskiy and Braden Holtby will have to be lightning fast if they want to keep the puck out of the back of their net. It’ll be interesting to see who captures Game 1 of the series.