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Caps Today, 5/13/18

May 13, 2018
The Capitals face the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena tonight in Game 2 of the 2018 Eastern Conference Final. The Capitals won Game 1, 4-2, at Amalie Arena on May 11. This is the third meeting between the clubs in the playoffs. The Capitals posted a 1-1-1 record against the Lightning during the regular season.

Alex Ovechkin finished with a goal and an assist in Game 1. Ovechkin’s scored his ninth goal of the playoffs and 55th career postseason goal to pass Nicklas Lidstrom, Rick MacLeish and Steve Thomas (54) for sole possession of 44th place on the NHL’s all-time list. Ovechkin is now five goals shy of the franchise record for most in postseason set by John Druce in 1990 (14). Ovechkin is tied for third in the NHL with nine goals in the playoffs and leads the Capitals with 17 points (9g, 8a), which is the most among players remaining in the playoffs. Additionally, Ovechkin is tied for third among active NHL players (min. 20 games played) in career playoff goals per game (0.50) and tied for sixth in playoff points per game (0.97). Among the top 10 active career playoff goal scorers, Ovechkin ranks sixth, and his 0.50 goals per game ranks first among player on that list. In 110 career playoff games, Ovechkin has 107 points (55g, 52a), ranking first in franchise history in playoff games played, goals, points, power play goals (19), power play points (47), game-winning goals (7), shots (500) and second in assists (52).

TOP GAME NOTES

Special Teams – The Capitals are 15 for 46 on the power-play this postseason and own the highest power-play percentage (32.6%) of any team remaining in the playoffs. Washington is leading the playoffs in power-play goals (15), seven more than any team remaining in the Conference Finals (Winnipeg Jets: eight). The record for the most power play goals in the playoffs is 35 (Minnesota North Stars: 1991). Additionally, Washington has scored a power play goal in 11 of their 13 playoff games. Washington is 8-3 this postseason when they have recorded at least one power play goal.

Holtbeast – Braden Holtby has posted a 9-3-0 record with a 2.04 goals-against average (second among goaltenders currently in the playoffs) and .925 save percentage (fourth among goaltenders with at least five games played) in 12 games this postseason. His nine wins are three shy of the Capitals' franchise record for most in a postseason (Olie Kolzig: 1998). In his career, Holtby has posted four shutouts, a 2.00 goals-against average and a .931 save percentage in a franchise-record 71 playoff games. The Lloydminster, Saskatchewan, native ranks second in NHL playoff history (min. 50 games played) in career save percentage and second in career goals-against average. In addition, Holtby ranks first among active NHL goaltenders (min. 20 games played) in career playoff save percentage and goals-against average. Holtby has allowed two goals or fewer in 46 of his 71 career playoff games and Washington has posted a 31-14 record in those games. Washington and Tampa Bay will play all potential seven games this series on one day of rest. During the regular season, Holtby has played in 160 career games following one day of rest, recording 2.16 goals against average and a .927 save percentage, his lowest goals against average and his highest save percentage of any other combination of days with rest.

Road Warriors - The Capitals are 6-1 on the road in the playoffs this postseason, the most road wins in the playoffs. On the road, the Capitals have outscored opponents 24-15 in the playoffs. Including the regular season, the Capitals have won 11 of their last 12 games on the road. 

Super Carly - With an assist in Game 1, John Carlson recorded his 12th point of the playoffs. That’s tied for the Capitals' franchise mark for points by a defenseman in the playoffs (Kevin Hatcher, 1988: 5g, 7a; Scott Stevens, 1988: 1g, 11; Carlson, 2016: 5g, 7a). Carlson’s 12 points are tied for the second-most among defensemen in the playoffs, and Carlson has recorded a point in eight of the Capitals’ 13 games. In 89 career playoff games, which is the second most in franchise history among defensemen, Carlson has 47 points (16g, 31a) and one game-winning goal.  Carlson’s 16 career playoff goals are tied for the most in franchise history (Hatcher), while his 47 points are one shy of tying for third in franchise history (Hatcher). Carlson’s 68 points (15g, 53a) led the NHL this season and are the seventh-highest single season total by a Capital in franchise history. Carlson became the third Capitals defenseman to lead the NHL in points since 2000 (Sergei Gonchar: 2001-02, 59 points; Mike Green: 2008-09, 2009-10: 73 and 76 points, respectively).

Great Pairs - This postseason, the Capitals have primarily utilized Dmitry Orlov with Matt Niskanen, Michal Kempny with John Carlson and Brooks Orpik with Christian Djoos. At five-on-five, each pair has recorded a positive goals-for percentage (Orlov/Niskanen: 12 goals for, 10 against, 54.55 goals-for percentage; Kempny/Carlson: 4 goals for, 3 against, 57.14 goals-for percentage; Orpik/Djoos: 4 goals for, 1 against, 80 goals-for percentage). Additionally, the Orlov-Niskanen pairing has a positive shot attempt percentage (234 shot attempts for, 224 against, 51.09 percent shot attempt percentage) and a positive scoring chance-for percentage (120 scoring chances for, 102 against, 54.05 scoring chance for percentage). 

Must Read/See/Hear Material

Dump ‘n Chase: Caps Set to Tangle with Tampa Bay Again / POSTGAME NOTEBOOK: Caps 4 Bolts 2

Washington Post: Lars Eller steps out of injured Nicklas Backstrom’s shadow and into the spotlight / Barry Trotz is ‘optimistic’ Nicklas Backstrom will play in series vs. Lightning / Lightning defenseman tried to copy Alex Ovechkin’s moves. Now he’s trying to stop them. / Svrluga: Capitals must take what they need from Game 1 vs. Lightning and throw away the rest

Washington Times: Eller seizes moment with Backstrom injured

NBC Sports Washington: Capitals at Lightning Game 2 Eastern Conference Finals 2018: Date, Time, How to Watch, live stream / Stanley Cup Playoffs 2018: Conference finals schedule, results, updated bracket / Barry Trotz "optimistic" about a Backstrom return in these playoffs

NHL.com: Capitals power play making difference in playoffs / Backstrom remains day to day for Capitals in Eastern Conference Final / Kempny adjusting to role with Capitals in Eastern Conference Final

AP: Lightning eye bounce-back performance against Capitals

AFP: Capitals clinch series opener

BC Local News: COLUMN: Stanley Cup playoff conference-finals predictions

CBS Sports: NHL playoffs 2018: Washington Capitals vs. Tampa Bay Lightning scores, schedule TV channels, odds

Forbes: NHL Playoffs Bracket 2018: Lightning vs. Capitals Eastern Conference Finals Schedule, Odds And Picks

National Post: Tampa Bay 'can't keep playing with fire,' says Lightning head coach / Former Habs forward Lars Eller has found his identity with the Washington Capitals / Why the Capitals and Lightning — and Maple Leafs — all need a physical force on the top line

NBC 4 Washington: Tampa, DC Airports Take Digs on Social Media Ahead of Caps-Lightning Game / Scenes From the Capitals' Playoff Run as They Enter Eastern Conference Finals

NHLPA: Playoff Performer Of The Night | Alex Ovechkin

Origo: Ovecskin's Leadership Is Preferred By Washington In The Eastern Finals (Link in Hungarian)

The Players’ Tribune: Brooks Orpik: "Mama Luccia! Mama Luccia!"

Reuters: Capitals prepared to seek 2-0 lead without Backstrom

Sports Capitol: Lars Eller has found a home with Capitals

SportsNet: Lightning ready to bounce back in Game 2 vs. Capitals

STATS LLC: Capitals try to put Lightning in 2-0 hole

Toronto Star: Lightning no match for Capitals in opening game of conference final

TSN: 5 remaining playoff players hockey fans would love to see hoist their first Stanley Cup (Alex Ovechkin mentioned)

TVA Sports: NHL 360 / Capitals Start Strong!

UPI: Stanley Cup Playoffs: Capitals beat Lightning in Game 1

TV/Audio Clips:

Washington Capitals: All-Access | It's Only One / Jay Beagle | May 12 / TJ Oshie | May 12 / Lars Eller | May 12 / Barry Trotz | May 12

106.7 The Fan: 5-12-18 Pollin & Loverro Hour 1: Andy and Thom dicuss the Eastern Conference Finals Game 1 win by the Capitals (0:05) / 5-12-18 Pollin & Loverro Hour 1: Calls from listeners about the Capitals win over the Lightning (14:20) / 5-12-18 Pollin & Loverro Hour 2: Brian McNally (0:05) / 5-12-18 Pollin & Loverro Hour 3: Andy and Thom discuss Washington DC as a sports town and what the Capitals winning the Stanley Cup could do for the area (0:05)

DCW50: Caps Fans Celebrate During Watch Party in Rosslyn (10 p.m.)

Japers’ Rink: JRR Episode 82: ECF Game 1 Recap

NHL.com: QFTSC Bonus Scene: Caps walk out / John Carlson, Washington Capitals | Beyond the Ice

Sports Capitol: Red Line: So much happening in Game 1

SportsNet: Tape to Tape NHL Podcast: Breaking down the Conference Finals / Saturday Headlines: Backstrom’s Hand Injury Still Unclear / Ron & Don: Alex Ovechkin Is On A Mission

WJLA-TV ABC 7: Report from Tampa (11 p.m.)

WRC-TV NBC 4: Report from Tampa (11 p.m.) / Caps Fans Rock the Red at Viewing Party (9 a.m.)

WUSA-TV CBS 9: Follow the Caps on Twitter: #ALLCAPS (7 a.m.)

Lightning Clips:

The Athletic: Behind the Lightning’s bad line change that turned the tide in Game 1

NHL.com: Kucherov says Lightning owe fans better effort in Game 2 against Capitals / Stralman, Paquette will play for Lightning against Capitals in Game 2

SportsNet: Ron and Don: Lightning ‘should be ashamed of themselves’ after Game 1

TampaBayLightning.com: Lightning vs. Capitals: Projected lines, storylines, injuries / Burns: 3 Things we learned from a Game 1 loss to Washington / Mishkin's Extra Shift: Capitals 4, Lightning 2

Tampa Bay Times: Lightning-Capitals: What to make of Andrei Vasilevskiy’s Game 1 / Lightning-Capitals: How things look at the corner of Panic and Stricken / Lightning-Capitals: Can Tampa Bay produce another Game 2 bounce back?

GAME NOTES  
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