The Washington Capitals have eliminated the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference Final and will challenge the Vegas Golden Knights for the Stanley Cup.
The Capitals defeated the Lightning in decisive fashion in Game Seven, posting a 4-0 victory Wednesday night.
Washington had goals from Alex Ovechkin, Andre Burakovsky and Nicklas Backstrom, while Braden Holtby stopped 29 shots for his second straight shutout.
The Lightning failed to score in the last 159 minutes of play against the Capitals. Their last goal was scored by Ryan Callahan in the second period of Game Five.
This is a first for Ovechkin’s team. They’d never escaped the second round of the playoffs under his watch, while the franchise will be making its first Cup Final appearance since 1998. In order to do it, the Capitals defeated the Lightning three times on the road and are now a whopping 8-2 away from home in these playoffs.
Washington improved to 4-7 in Game Seven situations since 2008.
Burakovsky, who was a healthy scratch in Game Five against Tampa, picked a terrific time to come alive with two goals. He became the 17th Capital to score in the playoffs this year and had Andrei Vasilevskiy’s number.
The Lightning goalie made 19 saves Wednesday, but it wasn’t enough, and his club couldn’t find the board. They had some chances, to be certain, and managed to nail the iron on a couple occasions.
In fact, Game Seven marked the first time Tampa was able to outshoot the Capitals in this post-season.
Now, Washington will face an improbable opponent in what must be described as an improbable Stanley Cup Final for 2018. The Golden Knights have carved a line right through this post-season, sweeping the Kings and dispatching both the Sharks and the Jets on their way to the land of opportunity.
The Capitals have a point to prove and will be looking to solidify the legacy of Alex Ovechkin with the silver prize. They eliminated the Columbus Blue Jackets and the defending champs before wrapping up the series in Florida.