Historically, the Tampa Bay Lightning have never won an Eastern Conference Final game six, and...they continue to not win an ECF game six. Game seven will be on Wednesday. This morning I’ve found a fair number of articles about how Alex Ovechkin “stepped up his physicality” and “won the biggest game of his career” and stuff — so perhaps we should be grateful for this. Ovi finally shut up his haters, and whenever I caught a glimpse of his murder eyes last night, I thought: this man is on a mission. (Not that the Bolts weren’t.)
Anyway, if you can stomach it, here are last night’s stories.
Tampa Bay struggled throughout the third period as they failed to connect on routine passes, made poor decisions with the puck in all three zones (the turnovers they gifted Washington near the defensive blueline were horrendous), and failed to get many shots on Holtby.
Washington Capitals rough up Tampa Bay Lightning 3-0 to force Game 7 in Eastern Conference Finals [Associated Press]
”You’ve got to wear them down,” Smith-Pelly said. “Every game, if guys are going to be playing 25, 30 minutes, it’s tough when you’re getting hit every single shift. We’ve been on the body all game and all series. If it shows up in Game 7 where guys are starting to get tired, then it was all worth it.”
Bobby "The Chief" Taylor with some succinct analysis of what the @TBLightning need to do to win Wednesday's Game 7. (hint: it involves their best players turning in stellar efforts.) #GoBolts #TBLvsWSH pic.twitter.com/IkqtdZwPCO— FOX Sports Florida (@FOXSportsFL) May 22, 2018
Energetic Capitals earn themselves Game 7 against Lightning [Sportsnet]
To war, indeed. The Capitals have earned the right to do so, after a 3-0 win that saw them play the best and most physical they have all series, and in front of a red-clad and screaming and towel-waving and starving crowd that hadn’t been treated to a home win this late in the playoffs in 20 years.
.@TBLightning defenseman Ryan McDonagh says the Washington Capitals were definitely the sharper team and got on top of the Bolts in Game 6 on Monday night. #GoBolts #TBLvsWSH pic.twitter.com/FfV3lR5Um1— FOX Sports Florida (@FOXSportsFL) May 22, 2018
Lightning’s Ryan Callahan says Caps played like lives ‘were on the line’ [ESPN]
”In the end, there is a Game 7. And it’s at home. And if you said to me, you only have to go 2-2 at home in this series, and you’re going to win it, we’ll take that. We took two on the road, and now we have to make sure we go home and take care of business. Shame on us if we don’t.”
.@TBLightning associate coach Rick Bowness says a good start for the Bolts was nullified by not matching the intensity of the Washington Capitals for the rest of Game 6 on Monday night. #GoBolts #NHL pic.twitter.com/O5VU43XwCY— FOX Sports Florida (@FOXSportsFL) May 22, 2018
Lightning’s Andrei Vasilevskiy was brilliant once more, but loses because his teammates were not [Washington Post]
“He definitely gave us a great chance here. Especially, it’s only 1-0 after the amount of chances they had. Obviously you wish you could help him out more. At the end of the day you can’t find one [goal], and they keep coming.”
Dirk Shadd’s photos from the game. Lightning loses 3-0 to Capitals, forcing Game 7 Wednesday in Tampa [TBT]
Trace wraps up the Thunder’s season with one last recap. Tampa Bay Lightning ECHL affiliate summary: Adirondack Thunder Playoff Update #7 [Raw Charge]
Florida now awaits the winner of the Western Conference Final, which will be either the Fort Wayne Komets or the Colorado Eagles. After a double overtime win in Indiana on Saturday evening, the Eagles, who will join the AHL as an Avalanche affiliate next season, take a 3-2 series lead back to Colorado on Tuesday. As for the Thunder...the offseason begins. Stay tuned for select exit interviews, and a stats review coming soon.
“For me, it was the young guys. When they found their burst, it was pretty fun to sit back and watch."@algallant24 on turning this season around, the young talent and energy of the Syracuse crowd. pic.twitter.com/BjtCqhpLvW— Syracuse Crunch (@SyracuseCrunch) May 21, 2018
“When I came to Syracuse, I didn’t know anything. I didn’t know English, I didn’t know this country.”— Syracuse Crunch (@SyracuseCrunch) May 21, 2018
Alex Volkov on his first professional season in North America, getting comfortable and playing in Syracuse. pic.twitter.com/pOgt4qIW77
“We accomplished great things this year."— Syracuse Crunch (@SyracuseCrunch) May 21, 2018
Michael Bournival on recovering from injury, a fun year and the best fans in the league. pic.twitter.com/8moPdmY00X
Highlight from last night:
You tell me.