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Caps Today, 5/21/18

May 21, 2018
The Capitals face the Tampa Bay Lightning at Capital One Arena tonight in Game 6 of the 2018 Eastern Conference Final. The Capitals trail the series 3-2. 

Evgeny Kuznetsov recorded his 11th goal of the postseason and extended his point streak to eight games (6g, 7a) in Game 5. That gives Kuznetsov 22 points (11g, 11a), a new franchise mark for points in a postseason. Kuznetsov also became the second player in franchise history to record points in eight-consecutive playoff games (Nicklas Backstrom: 2009, nine games, 3g, 8a). Dating back to Feb. 24, Kuznetsov has 50 points (22g, 28a) in 35 games. Additionally, Kuznetsov is the eighth Russian-born player to record double digits in goals for a single playoff year and the fifth to do so at 25 or younger. In 56 career playoff games, Kuznetsov has recorded 41 points (22g, 19a). Kuznetsov's 41 points are tied with Joe Juneau for the 13th-most in franchise history and two shy of Mike Gartner for 12th place in franchise history.

TOP GAME NOTES

The Great Eight – Alex Ovechkin has registered 21 points (11g, 10a) in 17 games this postseason. Ovechkin's 21 points are one shy of Evgeny Kuznetsov's current mark this postseason (Kuznetsov: 11g, 11a), which is the all-time franchise mark for points in a postseason. Ovechkin is now three goals shy of the franchise record for most goals in postseason set by John Druce, when he scored 14 goals in 15 games in 1990. In addition, Ovechkin has 57 career postseason goals, which is tied with Cam Neely and Henrik Zetterberg for the 40th most in NHL history. Ovechkin is tied for fourth among active players in career playoff goals. Ovechkin is tied for second in the NHL with 11 goals 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 seventh in playoff points per game (0.97). Among the top 10 active career playoff goal scorers, Ovechkin ranks fourth, and his 0.50 goals per game ranks first among player on that list. In 114 career playoff games, Ovechkin has 111 points (57g, 54a), and ranks first in franchise history in playoff games played, goals, points, power play goals (19), power play points (48), game-winning goals (7), shots (519) and second in assists.

Sixth Sense – The Capitals have won Game 6 in five of their last six series when they have trailed 3-2 (2008 ECQF, 2009 ECQF, 2009 ECSF, 2012 ECSF, 2017 ECSF). Alex Ovechkin has registered 15 points (7g, 8a) in 15 career Game 6s and Nicklas Backstrom has tallied 12 points (3g, 9a) in 14 career Game 6s.

When It Matters Most – In 21 career games when the Capitals have faced elimination, Alex Ovechkin has registered 20 points (10g, 10a) and Nicklas Backstrom has recorded 16 points (5g, 11a).

Shots Fired - The Capitals have recorded at least 30 shots in seven-straight playoff games. During the postseason, the Caps rank first with 569 shots on goal, while their 31.47 shots per game rank second among current playoff teams. Washington is led by Alex Ovechkin (72 SOG, first in the NHL), Evgeny Kuznetsov (69 SOG, second in the NHL) and John Carlson (63 SOG, third in the NHL)

Spread it Out - The Capitals have scored 16 goals in the first period (second in the playoffs), 21 goals in the second period (first in the playoffs) and 19 goals in the third period (second in the NHL). Additionally, the Capitals 59 goals for and 42 goals at even strength each rank first in the playoffs.

Must Read/See/Hear Material

Dump ‘n Chase: Caps Face Bolts in Do or Die Game 6 in DC / POSTGAME NOTEBOOK: Bolts 3, Caps 2

Washington Post: Capitals’ Matt Niskanen is quick to take blame but deserves more of the credit / The Capitals got themselves into this mess, but they’re staying the course / The Lightning knows what’s at stake in Game 6: A chance to rest / Svrluga: The Capitals need a hero, and it needs to be Braden Holtby / Uber will pay for Metro late-night service Monday for Caps Game 6

Washington Times: Capitals look to avoid historic NHL playoff collapse / Capitals Game 6 transit report: Uber pays to extend Metro service Monday / Loverro: Braden Holtby holds key to Capitals’ fate

NBC Sports Washington: Capitals vs. Lightning Game 6 Eastern Conference Final 2018: Date, Time, How to Watch, live stream / The Lightning are matching their 4th line against Ovechkin...and it’s working /

NHL.com: Capitals seek different approach against Vasilevskiy, Lightning in Game 6 / Capitals aim to change playoff narrative, defeat Lightning in Game 6

AP: Vasilevskiy turns East final around for Lightning

106.7 The Fan: Caps had zero power plays in Game 5

The Athletic: Q&A: Capitals coach Barry Trotz on the spring of no slogans and being at peace with himself / NHL playoffs probabilities (updated daily)

CBS Sports: NHL playoffs 2018 Bracket: Golden Knights earn Stanley Cup Final, three teams remain in the hunt

National Post: Ovechkin returns to physical game to try to help Washington Capitals stay in the series

Sports Capitol: Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen hopes to rebound from rough Game 5 / Capitals down to their final chance

SportsNet: Capitals look to rally around ‘leader’ Niskanen in Game 6

STATS LLC: Lightning can finish off Capitals

TSN: Arena Football League player shows the Capitals some love during his touchdown celebration

WJLA: DC Metro to stay open late for Capitals Game 6 thanks to funding from Uber

WTOP: Resilient Capitals hope to keep unlikely postseason run alive / Uber to sponsor late-night Metro service Monday for Capitals Game

WTSP: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Washington Capitals: What you need to know ahead of Game 6

TV/Audio Clips:

Washington Capitals: John Carlson | May 20 / Tom Wilson | May 20 / Barry Trotz | May 20

106.7 The Fan: Sports Junkie : 5/21 Hour 1- Caps face elimination Game 6 tonight

ESPN: Sun, 5/20 - In the Crease: Barry Melrose and Linda Cohn break down Lightning's Game 5 win

Japers’ Rink: RR Episode 86: On the Edge of Elimination (Game 5 Recap)

NBC Sports Washington: Ovechkin will be the player to watch in Game 6

Russian Machine Never Breaks: Jinxes, Knights win the West, and our conversation with Mike Knuble

SportsNet: Trotz On How He Wants His Players To Prepare Ahead Of Game 6

TSN: Capitals will lean on Ovechkin to stave off elimination

WFIR News Talk Radio: Caps face elimination; Scott Robertson tourney crowns winners

Lightning Clips:

The Athletic: Aggressiveness of Lightning’s fourth line impacting both ends of the ice

National Post: Lightning focus on Game 6 with another trip to Cup final so close

NHL.com: Stamkos driven to finish job for Lightning against Capitals / Callahan puts Lightning one win from Stanley Cup Final with inspired play / Lightning 'haven't accomplished anything yet' heading into Game 6 / Lightning using transition game to swarm Capitals

Raw Charge: Your narratives are bad and you should feel bad: Lightning vs. Capitals NHL ECF at a glance / Quick Reaction: Tampa Bay Lightning take 3-2 lead in Eastern Conference Final

TampaBayLightning.com: Lightning vs. Capitals: Projected lines, storylines, injuries / Notebook: Bolts expect toughest challenge yet in Game 6

Tampa Bay Times: Lightning-Capitals: Familiar ground for Capitals as they face elimination / Lightning-Capitals: In playoffs, Lightning and its town become one / Lightning-Capitals: Lightning keeps Alex Ovechkin under control

GAME NOTES  
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