Capitals vs. Lightning Preview: March 20, 2019
After a long road trip, the Washington Capitals return home to play the Tampa Bay Lightning at Capital One Arena. The Caps will play four games in a row at home before hitting the road again. The best of these four teams is the league leading Lightning, making their only visit to Washington tonight. It looks to be a strong game between the two high-scoring teams.
Tampa Bay has already clinched the Presidents’ Trophy as the league’s best team in the regular season. With 116 points and a 56-13-4 record, the Lightning are already in historic territory. This places them them among the top ten point totals in league history. While regular season success does not always translate in the playoffs, the Lightning core runs deep. Scoring leader Nikita Kucherov and Vezina-favorite goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy look to shut down the Capitals once more on their home ice.
The Capitals have 93 points and are still leading their division by a mere two points over the New York Islanders. Seeding could mean the difference between playing the Penguins and the Hurricanes in the first round, so they still look for more points. A home crowd will be a strong bonus to the Caps. Last night in New Jersey, Brett Connolly became the eighth Capital to score 20 goals this season. Evgeny Kuznetsov is just one short of that, also scoring last night. Both of them, along with Richard Trophy-favorite Alex Ovechkin, look to be in top form tonight.
The Caps last played the Bolts in Tampa on March 16. Despite two goals by Ovechkin, the Capitals could not recover as the Lightning won 5-3. Though both teams remember this game, they look to play even harder. The Caps trying to gain those last points, the Lightning maintaining their distance. Either way, this will be a fun game to watch!