Capitals set up Eastern final with Lightning
Washington players celebrate after Evgeny Kuznetsov’s goal eliminated Pittsburgh. The Capitals’ next opponent could be more dangerous,
When the Tampa Bay Lightning swung a major deal with the New York Rangers before this year’s deadline, defenseman Ryan McDonagh was considered the key acquisition.
But Lightning coaches were as happy to land winger J.T. Miller.
Miller proved his value on May 6 when he delivered the go-ahead goal in the second period to spark the Lightning to a 3-1 win against the Boston Bruins to earn a spot in the Eastern Conference final.
The Lightning, who needed five games to topple the Bruins in the best-of-seven series, now play the Capitals. Here’s why the Lightning can win the
Check marks in key boxes: The Lightning’s goal-scoring ability was tops in the NHL in 2017-18. Goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy is a Vezina Trophy finalist. Norris Trophy finalist Victor Hedman leads a skilled group of defenders. Tampa Bay’s coaching is high-caliber. This is an experienced group.
It’s Steve’s time: Steven Stamkos is only 28, but you already see his name among the best NHL players without a Stanley Cup. He’s a differencemaker on the ice and a quality captain. Feels as if he has learned all he needs to know to lead this team to a championship. Wunderkind goalie: At 23, Vasilevskiy has started 17 playoff games and won 12.