Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Washington Capitals - 5/13/18 NHL Pick, Odds, and Prediction

NHL Playoffs 2018: Capitals' Nicklas Backstrom, Andre Burakovsky game-time decisions for Game 1 against Lightning

Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom missed Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday night due to a right hand injury sustained in Game 5 of Washington's series against Pittsburgh. In particular, Ovechkin played with the freedom of a man who had been waiting his entire career to for this moment. And the statement might have been to themselves more than the Lightning, who will be searching for answers heading into Game 2 on Sunday night.

Tampa reached the Eastern Conference finals for a third time in four seasons and the fourth time since 2011.

"It is just one game", Cooper said. Tom Wilson, the controversial forward suspended in the second round for a hit to the head of Zach Astron-Reese, will make his return to the lineup. Updates with new lead, quotes. See below to find out how it unfolds. Nikita Kucherov made a nice move to beat Holtby, but the goal was disallowed as Tampa Bay was caught with too many men on the ice. Maybe the swap to Domingue will pay off. Two of the Caps four goals came despite whiffing on an earlier shot. The Caps had their chance at the Stanley Cup, the theory went, but with significant offseason departures and stars like Alex Ovechkin turning another year older, the 2017-18 season could have ended in a whimper. This time, Lars Eller cleans up the rebound.

Want further proof this might just be the Capitals year?

Washington also got some favorable bounces and all the puck luck to build a 4-0 lead before 27 minutes were played. The Caps take a 3-0 lead 2:40 into the second period.

Warm Today, Getting Warmer — Sunday Morning Weather
Good morning everyone! While we're waking up to cloud coverage this morning, it's going to turn out to be a nice day of weather. At least one model - the Global Forecast System, or GFS - depicts showers over the Poconos and Lehigh Valley this afternoon.

At the other end, the Lightning looked sluggish and out of sync. Instead of 1-1, the Capitals will take a 2-0 lead into intermission.

It was a stunning turn of events.

Almost seven minutes through the second, the Capitals scored its second power-play goal off an Eller rebound, taking a 4-0 lead. Michal Kempny's shot from the point finds its way through traffic and the Capitals strike first 7:28 into the game.

NOTES: Ovechkin has 17 points (nine goals, eight assists) in 13 playoff games. That would allow for two full days of rest for the Western Conference victor and a media day for both teams. That's some heavy artillery to track. Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury has been on top of his game through the first two rounds, and he has gotten plenty of support from Jonathan Marchessault, Reilly Smith and Colin Miller.

Why The Capitals Win There aren't many teams that can keep up with the Lightning shot-for-shot, goal-for-goal, but the Capitals have proven over the course of the post-season that they are most certainly one.

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