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Quick Strikes: The Tampa Bay Lightning are the odds on favorite to win the Stanley Cup

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We have a new record for longest game in AHL history: 5 overtimes.

Boston Bruins v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game Five
Ryan McDonagh #27 and Anton Stralman #6 of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrate winning Game Five of the Eastern Conference Second Round against the Boston Bruins during the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena on May 6, 2018 in Tampa, Florida.
Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Bolts

The series against the Washington Capitals is one sleep away for the Tampa Bay Lightning, here is a thought-provoking preview of what could happen. [Raw Charge]

A big question for the Capitals going into this series is the health of Niklas Backstrom. He is one of the best playmakers of his generation. He missed game six against the Penguins with a reported upper body injury to his left hand. If there’s something broken in his hand, he could be out for a while. But obviously with it being the playoffs, the Capitals are going to be tight lipped about his health.

If you’re mad at AMALIE Arena’s away jersey restrictions, you should probably read this again. [Raw Charge]

Do you want to wear your non-Lightning jersey to the arena? Great. Buy a ticket somewhere that is not a Club seat.

What is Club seating? You can see two of the Club areas below, the Chase Club and the Lexus Lounge. The North Party Suite is near the Vology Loge. Just, like, don’t sit in these places if you want to wear your away jersey. It is truly this simple.

Barb Underhill is magic. She turns the immobile into majestic speedsters. She’s the secret weapon many NHL teams use to get quicker. [The Athletic]

“It was just crazy,” said Underhill, a skating coach who currently works with the Lightning and Maple Leafs. “Almost every shift, you can see him. He’s really come to another level. That burst is something we’ve worked on from the very beginning.”

Point wasn’t known for his speed when he was picked in the third round of the 2014 NHL draft. Three years later, the 5-foot-10 forward came within a tenth of a second of beating Connor McDavid in the fastest skater competition at the All-Star Game. Point tormented the Bruins’ top line with a ferocious forecheck as the best player in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

The Lightning are comfortably the odds-on favorite to win the Stanley Cup after two series’. [Odds Shark]

The Bolts took down the Bruins in five games and are listed at +225. They will face the Washington Capitals in the Eastern Conference final after the Caps ousted the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins in six games. Washington is now listed at +425.

In the Western Conference, the Vegas Golden Knights punched their ticket to the conference final with a victory in San Jose. The Knights are listed at +300 and await the winner of Winnipeg (+500) and Nashville (+500). Those two rivals will lock horns in a do-or-die Game 7 in Nashville on Thursday.

The Prospects

With the Crunch eliminated, the Lightning have a fair number of “Black Aces” that are likely coming down to the sunshine state to travel with the team just in case. [Raw Charge]

Cal Foote is the only player on this list that was a junior player this year that I think will be here for the rest of the playoffs. His usage by the Crunch in the playoffs make it obvious what the coaching staff and organization think of him. While it’s highly unlikely he would be called on to play in a playoff game, he’s an important part of the future and could be in Tampa as early as the 2019-20 season.

Instead of recapping a 2-1 regulation elimination loss, JustinG. broke down what he saw out of some of the standout players on the Crunch. [Raw Charge]

Cal Foote is the only player on this list that was a junior player this year that I think will be here for the rest of the playoffs. His usage by the Crunch in the playoffs make it obvious what the coaching staff and organization think of him. While it’s highly unlikely he would be called on to play in a playoff game, he’s an important part of the future and could be in Tampa as early as the 2019-20 season.

In a game that was broadcast nationally on TV in Canada, the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds defeated the Hamilton Bulldogs on the road with a 3-2 overtime win, evening the OHL Championship series at 2-2. Lightning prospect Boris Katchouk scored a goal and nearly lost a leg after falling awkwardly into the boards. He would finish the game but there remains concerns for his health for Game 5. [Bolt Prospects]

The Wonder Twins scored 34 seconds into the game, Bolt prospects Taylor Raddysh setting up Boris Katchouk for his league leading 17th goal of the playoffs. Katchouk’s 33 points and Raddysh’s 31 points also lead the league in playoff points.

On the same night, Alex Barré-Boulet notched an assist in a 5-1 Blainville-Boisbriand Armada victory over Acadie-Bathurst Titan, tying the series at 2-2. [Bolt Prospects]

After a scoreless 1st period, the Armada scored thrice in the 2nd period, including Barre-Boulet setting up Alexander Katerinakis (2018 draft eligible) for what would be the eventual game-winner. The series returns to Boisbriand for Game 5 on Friday night.

The Game

It took FIVE overtimes and 94 saves by Alex Lyon, but the Lehigh Valley Phantoms beat the Charlotte Checkers 2-1 to take a 3-1 series lead in the second round. [Broad Street Hockey]

After the Phantoms 5-1 win Tuesday night, the only lineup change was Tyrell Goulbourne out and Steven Swavely in. Goulbourne has been in and out of the lineup during the playoffs with a minor injury. Alex Lyon once again started in goal, starting in back to back games. Little did anybody know that we were about to witness history.

In a Conference Final preview, ESPN looked at the biggest breakout stars, and the biggest flops in the playoffs so far. [ESPN]

Greg Wyshynski, senior NHL writer: Filip Forsberg. Now, you might argue, “Hey, he’s already a star,” but you’d be wrong. There’s a dividing line between a well-known name among hockey fans and a guy you make time to watch. The Predators forward is now in that latter category, with 15 points in 12 games and a good portion of his seven goals scored in spectacular fashion. You know who scores a between-the-legs goal in a potential elimination game, like “Scoresberg” did in Game 6? Stars, that’s who.

Highlight of the Night: These people are on another level of fun.

And just a reminder, Game 7 between the Nashville Predators and Winnipeg Jets is tonight at 8pm EDT. I don’t need to tell you twice how exciting and dramatic that game’s going to be.