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Preview and game day thread: Washington Capitals vs. Tampa Bay Lightning, Round 3 Game 7

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We’re back at home for the biggest game of the season.

RxlandS

Washington Capitals vs. Tampa Bay Lightning: Round 3, Game 7

Time: 8:00 PM Eastern Time

Location: Amalie Arena

Broadcast / Streaming: NBCSN (link to stream), TVA Sports

Opponent SBNation Site: Japer’s Rink

Preview:

Well... we’re back in Amalie Arena. The Lightning couldn’t get it done in game six in Washington and it was a pretty ugly game. They have one more chance to get it done tonight in Tampa.

As Alan pointed out, this has been such an evenly matched series that it’s hard to say who will come out on top. It could come down to so many different variables: can the Stamkos line take over the game? Or maybe the Point line after having been fairly quiet? Maybe Vasilevskiy steals a game like he did in game four in Washington?

One thing is for sure — the Lightning must come out at full speed to start the game. Like I said in my preview for game six, they need to come out and score an early goal and they didn’t do that. In fact, they never scored a goal in game six. But this time the goal is to get the home crowd into it rather than taking the wind out of their sails. Vasilevskiy also needs to be big in the net. Now would be an opportune time for him to turn in his best performance of the postseason. Maybe even a shutout to answer Holtby’s game six shutout.

Whatever the outcome, it’s been a heckuva season. I hope that it does not come to an end tonight, but the possibility is there.

So everyone in the arena tonight needs to be hyped for this game.

Bring the energy! Bring the Thunder! Let the Capitals know they are going home sad because the Lightning will be victorious!

LET’S GO BOLTS!

Tampa Bay Lightning:

Lineup notes:

So Burns tweeted this but I’m not sure if I believe him:

Forward Lines:

Ondrej Palat - Steven Stamkos - Nikita Kucherov

Yanni Gourde - Brayden Point - Tyler Johnson

Alex Killorn - Anthony Cirelli - J.T. Miller

Chris Kunitz - Cedric Paquette - Ryan Callahan

Defense Pairings:

Victor HedmanDan Girardi

Ryan McDonaghAnton Stralman

Braydon CoburnMikhail Sergachev

Goaltenders:

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Louis Domingue

Washington Capitals

Forward Lines:

Ovechkin - Kuznetsov - Wilson

Vrana - Backstrom - Oshie

Burakovsky - Eller - Connolly

Stephenson - Beagle - Smith-Pelly

Defense Pairings:

Kempny - Carlson

Orlov - Niskanen

Orpik - Djoos

Goaltenders:

Holtby