Time: 7:30 pm Eastern Time
Location: Capital One Arena
Opponent SBNation Site: Japers’ Rink
It’s the second time in five nights that the Capitals and Lightning will meet, but this time it’s Tampa who will make the trip into enemy territory. Washington will look to exact revenge on the Bolts, who walked over them to a 6-3 win on Saturday night. However, Tampa made a few defensive blunders and were roughed up a bit by the Caps, so it wasn’t a perfect win.
Since then, the Lightning have played just once, a win over Arizona on Monday night. It was close for most of the game before the Bolts finally pulled away, securing the franchise’s first-ever President’s Trophy. Washington will head into tonight’s game on the second half of a back-to-back, having won last night against New Jersey. Their game tonight is the first of a four-game homestand, and they should ride the momentum of their win into tonight.
Washington is currently healthy across the lineup, which will help them fight with the New York Islanders for first in the Metro. They had identical records (and ROW) before their game against the Devils, but the Capitals jumped into first after their win. A win against the Lightning would help them extend their lead.
There was some concern that Mikhail Sergachev (who took a rough hit from Tom Wilson) would not play on Monday when the Bolts recalled Cameron Gaunce from Syracuse. However, he did play, which was welcome news for a blueline already missing Dan Girardi and Anton Stralman to injuries. Tampa Bay’s blueline depth has been tested significantly in the last week, but the team has continued to reel off wins.
There are nine games left and Tampa Bay has 56 wins on the season. With the Caps on the second half of a back-to-back and having traveled the night before, the Bolts will get a great opportunity to inch closer to 60 wins this season.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Ondrej Palat - Steven Stamkos - J.T. Miller
Tyler Johnson - Brayden Point - Nikita Kucherov
Alex Killorn - Anthony Cirelli - Mathieu Joseph
Yanni Gourde - Cedric Paquette - Adam Erne
Scratched: Ryan Callahan, Danick Martel
Victor Hedman - Mikhail Sergachev
Ryan McDonagh - Erik Cernak
Braydon Coburn - Jan Rutta
Injured: Anton Stralman, Dan Girardi
Alex Ovechkin - Evgeny Kuznetsov - Tom Wilson
Jakub Vrana - Nicklas Backstrom - T.J. Oshie
Carl Hagelin - Lars Eller - Brett Connolly
Andre Burakovsky - Chandler Stephenson - Dmitrij Jaskin
Scratched: Nic Dowd
Michal Kempny - John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Christian Djoos - Nick Jensen
Scratched: Travis Boyd