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Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Washington Capitals preview: First rematch since the Eastern Conference final

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These teams meet three times before the end of the season

si.com

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Washington Capitals: Game 72

Time: 7:00 pm Eastern Time

Location: Amalie Arena

Broadcast/Streaming: NHLN, Fox Sports Sun

Opponent SBNation Site: Japers’ Rink

Preview

It’s been almost 10 months since the last meeting of these teams in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Lightning were defeated in the seventh game and the Capitals went on to win the Stanley Cup. Currently, both teams lead their divisions and are among the favorites to win the Stanley Cup Final this year.

It’s also their first meeting this season. For some reason, all three of their games will be played in the next two weeks. This is a great opportunity for both teams to take a closer look at potential playoff opponent.

The Capitals had a little slump back in January, but it seems to be over now. They are getting ready to play in the postseason and have won eight of their ten last games, scoring at least three goals per game during this stretch.

Alex Ovechkin leads the whole league with 46 goals but has been quiet lately. The Caps also added some depth to their blueline and penalty kill units at the Trade Deadline. Carl Hagelin was having a rough season and was traded twice, but fits perfectly on his new team so far. Nick Jensen, who was acquired from Detroit Red Wings, is now playing on the third pair. The team management probably hopes he can follow Michal Kempny, whom they acquired before the Trade Deadline and became an important player during their playoff run.

The Lightning blueline is still missing two players. Anton Stralman and Dan Girardi are still listed as a day-to-day with a lower body injury and it’s undetermined if they will return for tonight’s game. Jan Rutta will probably get another chance to play. His time on ice has increased since his first game for Tampa and he even recorded two assists against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Andrei Vasilevskiy didn’t play his best game against the Red Wings and will likely start against the Capitals to get his confidence back.

Both teams are looking strong recently, so it’s fair to expect them to show their best hockey meaning we could see lots of goals tonight.

Tampa Bay Lightning

Forwards

Ondrej Palat - Steven Stamkos - J.T. Miller

Tyler Johnson - Brayden Point - Nikita Kucherov

Alex Killorn - Anthony Cirelli - Mathieu Joseph

Adam Erne - Cedric Paquette - Yanni Gourde

Scratched: Danick Martel, Ryan Callahan

Defense

Victor Hedman - Mikhail Sergachev

Ryan McDonagh - Eric Cernak

Braydon Coburn - Jan Rutta

Injuries: Anton Stralman, Dan Girardi

Goalies

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Louis Domingue

Washington Capitals

Forwards

Alex Ovechkin - Evgeny Kuznetsov - Tom Wilson

Jakub Vrana - Nicklas Backstrom - T.J. Oshie

Carl Hagelin - Lars Eller - Brett Connolly

Andre Burakovsky - Chandler Stephenson - Travis Boyd

Defense

Michal Kempny - John Carlson

Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen

Brooks Orpik - Nick Jensen

Goalies

Braden Holtby

Pheonix Copley