Lightning vs. Capitals Live How to watch, listen, live stream Find out when and how to watch Tampa Bay’s game against the Washington Capitals on TV and streaming online The Lightning begin a two-game homestand on Saturday night with the first meeting of the season vs. the Capitals.
Tampa Bay is coming off a perfect 2-0-0 road trip that saw them pick up divisional wins over Toronto and Detroit. The Capitals come in off a win over Philadelphia on Thursday that gives them eight victories in their last nine games.Find out how to watch, listen, and live stream the action.
There was a time not all that long ago, back during the days of the “South Least” Division, where a Washington Capitals-Tampa Bay Lightning Eastern Conference final would have sounded like more of a punchline than a prediction. But fast forward a decade-plus and the two squads left standing in the East are former divisional foes from what was once a laughing-stock division.
Since the divisional split, there’s not much history between the two sides, but there are some similarities. Offensively, both are by big-time playmakers and sharpshooting snipers. Defensively, both teams have their deficiencies. In goal, not much has separated the two starters throughout their respective post-season runs. And now leaders of their own divisions — top seeds in the Metropolitan and Atlantic, respectively — whoever wins this battle of the past divisional rivals will win the Eastern Conference crown and earn the chance to hoist the Stanley Cup.
If it wasn’t for a lull in the back half of the season, Tampa Bay, who were long seen as the Presidents’ Trophy frontrunners, probably could have sealed the deal and taken the prize as the regular season’s top team. They didn’t, of course, but that they were in the mix speaks to the dominance the Lightning have shown throughout the campaign.
Offensively, Tampa Bay is going to be a handful. As if stopping Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov with any consistency isn’t difficult enough, the play of Brayden Point, Ondrej Palat and J.T. Miller through the first two rounds of the post-season gives reason to believe the entire Lightning top-six will give even the best of defensive units fits. Keep in mind, there’s no mention there of Tyler Johnson or rookie standout Yanni Gourde. That’s how deep the attack is in Tampa Bay.
What stands to put the Lightning over the top and back into the Stanley Cup final for the second time in four years, however, is the defense corps. Bolstered at the deadline with the acquisition of Ryan McDonagh, Tampa Bay now has a top-three on their blueline that’s as rock-solid as any team remaining in the title picture. Norris Trophy finalist Victor Hedman can take over a game at either end of the ice