Tampa Bay Lightning (62-26-5) at Washington Capitals (58-28-9)
|Date & Time||Tuesday May 15, 2018, 8:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Washington Capitals -141 / Tampa Bay Lightning +108 --- Over/Under:
The Tampa Bay Lighting and Washington Capitals meet Tuesday for game three of the NHL Eastern Conference Finals at the Capital One Arena.
The Tampa Bay Lighting need a victory here to cut the series in half if they have any realistic hope of reaching the Stanley Cup Finals. The Tampa Bay Lighting are averaging 3.5 goals per game and are scoring on 23.9 percent of their power play opportunities. Nikita Kucherov leads Tampa Bay with six goals, Steven Stamkos has eight assists and Tyler Johnson has 32 shots on goal. Defensively, the Tampa Bay Lighting are allowing 2.9 goals per game and are killing 76.1 percent of their opponents power plays. Andrei Vasilevskiy has given up 32 goals on 362 shots faced and Louis Domingue has allowed zero goals on seven shots. The Tampa Bay Lighting have allowed three or more goals in six of their last 11 games.
The Washington Capitals can all but end this series by winning another game and taking a 3-0 lead. The Washington Capitals are averaging 3.1 goals per game and are scoring on 22.5 percent of their power play opportunities. Alex Ovechkin leads Washington with 10 goals, John Carlson has 11 assists and Evgeny Kuznetsov has 45 shots on goal. Defensively, the Washington Capitals are allowing 2.9 goals per game and are killing 80.3 percent of their opponents power plays. Braden Holtby has given up 27 goals on 367 shots faced and Philipp Grubauer has allowed eight goals on 49 shots. The Washington Capitals have allowed three or less goals in each of their last 12 games.
The Lightning are 4-1 in their last 5 Tuesday games, 9-4 in their last 13 road games and 0-4 in their last 4 Conference Finals games. The Capitals are 6-1 in their last 7 Conference Finals games, 93-39 in their last 132 home games and 22-7 in their last 29 overall. The Lightning are 16-37 in the last 53 meetings in Washington, 17-37 in the last 54 meetings and the home team is 20-9 in the last 29 meetings.
We've backed the Washington Capitals twice in this series as heavy underdogs and it's paid off in a big way considering they've outscored the Lightning 10-4 in the first two games. We're not going to stop with the Capitals coming home with a 2-0 series lead. The Capitals are getting whatever they want offensively in this series, producing 69 combined shots on goal and now scoring three or more goals in seven of the last nine meetings against Tampa Bay. There's also the history between these two clubs, as the Capitals have now won 15 of the last 20 meetings against the Lightning. That's a 75 percent winning percentage dating back to February of 2013. At some point you just have to admit that the team has your number and start regrouping for next year. I'm riding the Capitals until the wheels fall off.