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Holtby and the Capitals shutout Lightning to force Game 7

Wayne Masut | Staff Photographer

With all the momentum following three straight wins, the Tampa Bay Lightning headed into Washington hoping to close out this series in game six. Tampa Bay had already won games three and four in the Capital One Arena.

If Andrei Vasilevskiy thought he was tired down the stretch of the season, this series versus the Washington Capitals must be wearing him out. Through five games this series he has faced 168 shots, to put that into perspective Braden Holtby has faced 120 shots. Both teams have more blocked shot than anyone can count, but it’s been the ferocious Capitals shooters that has kept the Lightning goalie on his toes.


Opening period stalemate

While Tampa Bay has won the last three games, it seemed neither team could truly snatch momentum though the first twenty minutes of play. Both team’s shots on goal were about even with Washington having a slight edge 8-6. Neither team would get a chance at the man advantage through the opening period. It was probably the best period of this series.


Chasing history

Heading into tonight’s game Steven Stamkos sits one point behind Vincent Lecavalier for the third most playoff points in Lightning history. The two men ahead of Stamkos and Lecavaler… Nikita Kucherov at number two and Martin St Louis at number one. Considering it doesn’t feel like Stamkos has had too many lengthy playoff runs he has 51 points (Including 2017-2018). Will he break the record this season?


Mid game struggles continue

This Lightning team, while leading the series 3-2 entering this game has struggled more against the Capitals than the Capitals have struggled against them. In game five the Lightning played great to start the game, as evident by their 13-4 shot advantage in the first period that game, however the rest of the game was a whole other story. In game five Washington outshot the Bolts 26-9 in the final two periods. Tonight, the middle of the game was the undoing for the Lightning. A little over 15 minutes into the second, Brayden Coburn would get a hooking penalty right out of the face-off. TJ Oshie would get a pass in the slot and bury it past Vasilevskiy. It would not be Oshie’s last goal of the game.

Third period seals the game

The final period of the game was a back and forth affair with the Capitals holding a 1-0 advantage. Washington would put the nail in the coffin when Brayden Coburn would try to send the puck around the boards. Chandler Stephenson would get a puck in the slot of Devante Smith-Pelly who put the Capitals up 2-0 and closer to forcing game seven on Wednesday. TJ Oshie would notch his second goal of the night on an empty netter late in the third.

Next Up

The immortal game seven between Tampa Bay and Washington will take place on Wednesday at 8pm from Amalie Arena.


Three Stars of the Game

1st Star – Braden Holtby: Stopped all 24 shots he faced as he notched a game six 3-0 shutout.

2nd Star – TJ Oshie: Two goals (1 empty netter)

3rd Nicklas Backstrom: Having him back has been huge especially in the face off circle. Notched two assists tonight on both of Oshie’s goals.

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