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Caps Today, 5/9/18

May 9, 2018
The Washington Capitals will face the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference Final in Game 1 on Friday at 8 p.m. at Amalie Arena. That marks the third time in franchise history the Capitals have reached the Eastern Conference Final, and the first time since 1998. This marks the third time in franchise history the Capitals have played the Lightning in the playoffs.

Capitals rookies Nathan Walker and Travis Boyd made their playoff debuts in the Capitals’ series-clinching Game 6 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference semifinal on May 7. The two rookies joined Shane Gersich, Chandler Stephenson, Jakub Vrana, Christian Djoos and Jakub Jerabek in the Capitals class of rookies to debut in the playoffs. The Capitals’ seven rookies mark the most rookies the Capitals have had participate in the playoffs in franchise history. This postseason, five different Capitals rookies have recorded points, which is a franchise high. Walker recorded an assist on the Capitals’ opening goal in Game 6, making him the first Australian to record a point in the playoffs in NHL history. Walker, who became the first Australian to play in the NHL on Oct. 7, recorded a goal in his NHL debut, making him the first Australian to record a point in the regular season. The Capitals had nine different rookies on the roster this season (Vrana, Stephenson, Djoos, Jerabek, Gersich, Madison Bowey, Travis Boyd, Nathan Walker and Liam O’Brien), and six rookies recorded their first career point.

Must Read/See/Hear Material

Dump ‘n Chase: #CapsPens Postgame Notebook: Down Go The Champs / 2018 Eastern Conference Final Schedule and Broadcast Information

Washington Post: The Capitals finally beat the Penguins. They don’t want to stop there. / Boswell: ‘Last night was a big step . . . for Washington teams and fans.’ / D.C. Sports Bog: There’s a cursed Capitals puck buried beneath the Penguins’ arena. (Its powers are suspect.) / Evgeny Kuznetsov’s overtime goal was eerily similar to Dale Hunter’s 30 years ago / An early look at the Capitals-Lightning Eastern Conference finals clash

Washington Times: ‘Next guy up’ not just a cliche for Capitals / More than just Kucherov: 5 things to know about Tampa Bay Lightning / LOVERRO: Ovechkin has chance to elevate an already amazing legacy / NHL announces Capitals-Lightning schedule / A glance at the Tampa Bay Lightning / ‘The demons have been exorcised’: Listen to calls of Capitals’ game-winning goal

NBC Sports Washington: NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs 2018: Capitals vs. Lightning full schedule announced, date, time, TV channel, how to watch / An open letter to the Pittsburgh Penguins and their fans / Evgeny Kuznetsov's OT series winner set to 'Titanic' music will hit you right in the feels Lightning vs. Capitals playoff preview / Lightning hope to slow Ovechkin, Capitals in Eastern Conference Final / Andrei Vasilevskiy vs. Braden Holtby / Trotz, Capitals living in moment after reaching conference final

AP: Capitals exorcise ghosts to reach Eastern Conference finals

The Athletic: After years of anguish and playoff misery, Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals earned this celebration / Dellow: On John Carlson and the vaunted right-shot power play quarterback / Systems Analyst: How Alex Ovechkin’s excellent positional shift influenced the Capitals series-clinching OT winner

CBS Sports: 2018 NHL Playoffs: Five reasons the Pittsburgh Penguins were eliminated by the Washington Capitals

National Post: Alex Ovechkin has a chance to re-write his legacy after reaching a conference final

New York Times: Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals Remove a ‘Skeleton in the Closet’

NHLPA: Playoff Performer Of The Night | Evgeny Kuznetsov

Sports Capitol: Capitals pivot from party to new opponent

Sports Illustrated: Watch: Finnish Capitals Fan Has Early Morning Freakout Over Evgeny Kuznetzov’s Game-Winner

SportsNet: Why this is the most unlikely Ovechkin-era Capitals team to reach Round 3

TSN: By The Numbers: Capitals finally knock off Pens

USA Today: Five people remaining in NHL playoffs who need a Stanley Cup the most (Alex Ovechkin mentioned)

WJLA: NHL releases schedule for Capitals-Lightning Stanley Cup Eastern Conference Finals

WTOP: Ovechkin, Caps finally break through to Conference Finals in Pittsburgh

TV/Audio Clips:

ESPN: Around the Horn: Capitals Win!

ESPN New York 98.7: Game Misconduct Podcast: Capital Gains

NBC Sports: Caps superfan PFT Commenter on beef with Pens fans

NBC Sports Washington: Caps' rookies have impressed through the first two rounds / Game 1 Preview: Caps turn their attention to Tampa Bay / Breaking Through: Trotz and Ovechkin on moment of relief / An emotional roller coaster: Caps fans react to Game 6

NHL Network: NHL Tonight: ECF Preview / NHL Tonight: Capitals discussion / NHL Now: Capitals Advance to ECF

Raw Charge: Charged Up: A Raw Charge Podcast, Episode 24 - Toppling a Bear and Moving Toward Round 3 (Capitals mentioned)

Robb Unfiltered: Robb Unfiltered Ep1: What the Puck? Caps Win!

SportsNet: You Could See How Much This Meant To Ovechkin

TSN: How Ovi pushed the Caps to the Conference Final / Ovechkin's path to the conference final / Ovi describes 'great feeling' of beating Penguins

TSN Edmonton 1260: Wyshynski: Capitals exhibit rare mental fortitude / TSN Sports Night: May 8th, 2018 - Hour 2: Stephen Whyno

TSN Montreal 690: Dreger: There's no perfect Stanley Cup recipe

TSN Ottawa 1200: May: Amazing what Capitals have accomplished / McGuire: Barry Trotz coached the Caps past the Pens

TSN Toronto 1050: Rupp: Capitals have to realize that they still haven't won anything yet

Vice Sports: Biscuits 60: Hopping Off the Washington Capitals Bandwagon

WNST: Ed Frankovic And Nestor Recap Historic Playoff Win For Caps

Lightning Clips:

The Athletic: How the Syracuse Crunch used the Lightning’s blueprint to become the AHL’s fastest team Kunitz on Conference Final

Sports Illustrated: Lightning Owner Jeff Vinik Discusses How He Turned Around a Struggling Franchise

Tampa Bay Times: Three thoughts about the Lightning-Capitals matchup / Three thoughts about the Lightning-Capitals matchup / Four big reasons the Lightning’s Stanley Cup hopes are alive and well / Lightning journal: Team looks to make better use of time off