Devante Smith-Pelly morphed into Devante Shimmy-Celly late in the third period.
It could not have come at a better time.
Before the Stanley Cup Final kicks off, The Tonight Show’s Jimmy Fallon graced us all with another round of his popular NHL Superlatives segment.
This time, Fallon covered players from only the two final teams which gave us more superlatives for Capitals players including Alex Ovechkin, Braden Holtby, Jay Beagle, Jakub Vrana, Brett Connolly, and Philipp Grubauer.
As the clock wound down during Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Final, Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper pulled goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy in hopes of coming back from a three-goal hole.
With 3:43 left in the third period, Nicklas Backstrom officially put the game out of reach, knocking the puck into the empty net.
Or did he? We did some investigating.
The Washington Capitals are playing nearly flawless hockey through two periods of play. A Jay Beagle rebound strike and a Lars Eller power play goal have added to the Caps early lead.
We have a blowout brewing in Tampa.
Coming into Monday night’s game, the Washington Capitals had lost nine out of 10 series against the Pittsburgh Penguins and had never gotten past the second round of the playoffs during the Alex Ovechkin Era. Despite winning the Presidents’ Trophy in three of the last nine seasons and division titles in eight of the last 11, Capitals fans would label the year a failure when the team choked in the playoffs.
Evgeny Kuznetsov’s beautiful, clutch, exhilarating, perfect, overtime game-winning goal changed all of that. And the Caps bench erupted in one of the most raucous team celebrations you’ll ever see.
The Washington Capitals have the opportunity to do something tonight that they haven’t done in 20 years: advance past the second round of the playoffs.
Is the team paralyzed with nerves heading into Game Six? Um, it appears to be the exact opposite.
Just like we drew it up, the Caps have struck first in Game Two thanks to a goal by Jay Beagle with a primary assist by Brooks Orpik.
On Thursday, Michal Kempny took a hit from the Blue Jackets Josh Anderson which left his status for Game Two uncertain. He joined Jay Beagle (upper-body injury), and Travis Boyd (sickness), who were also out of the lineup heading into the playoffs.
The Caps had practice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Saturday. Kempny, Beagle, and Boyd were all back on the ice. However, TJ Oshie was absent for a maintenance day, as reported by The Washington Post’s Isabelle Khurshudyan.
Following practice, Capitals head coach Barry Trotz, Kempny, and Beagle all spoke to the media about what to expect from the lineup for Game Two.
On Wednesday, Barry Trotz confirmed it was unlikely Jay Beagle would play in Game One of the Capitals first round series against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
On Tuesday, the Washington Capitals held their first full practice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex since the regular season ended.
TJ Oshie — who suffered a minor lower-body injury against the Carolina Hurricanes, and sat out two of the last three games of the regular season — returned to the ice, according to the Washington Post’s Isabelle Khurshudyan.
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