By now there are no more secrets. After winning four straight to beat the Blue Jackets in six games, the Capitals beat Sidney Crosby and the Penguins in six games.
"It's desperation, really", Orpik said. "It's a team sport; it's not you all by yourself".
Game 3 on June 2 will be the first Cup Final game in the district since 1998, when the Capitals were swept by the Detroit Red Wings.
"This is probably biggest game in my life, this team, organization probably", the 32-year-old Moscow, Russia, native said on Tuesday. In the post-lockout era, Ovechkin is tied for ninth in Game 7 points with six, he's second in ice time with more than 200 minutes and no player has made netminders make more stops.
DIRK SHADD | TimesTampa Bay Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) during a stoppage in play against the Dallas Stars during second period action at Amalie Arena in Tampa Thursday evening (11/16/17). "That's what we have to do". After this, they faced the Pittsburgh Penguins, who eliminated them in each of the past two seasons. "We had a lot of guys pitching in", winger T.J. Oshie said. But some plays we were making during the season we weren't making right now.
Another strong period left the Lightning without any significant shot tonight at the Finals.
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Tampa Bay was shut out for the first time this postseason after scoring at least two goals in its first 15 games, including three or more in 11. However, the Caps avoided elimination in Game 6 and then conquered Game 7 too. Problem was, 24 were blocked and 15 missed the net. Stamkos, who was a destructive force this series on the man advantage, struggled to get the puck at even strength. "And I got caught up trying to do too much, and it never works too well, and it ended up snowballing".
It was the hit of the night and it opened some TV dialogue on what a fine addition Smith-Pelly has been since the Devils bought him out and the Capitals signed him this season. Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point had two even-strength points in seven games and Victor Hedman had one. "We have to give them some credit". The Capitals realized this, and adjusted accordingly, ramping up physical play as a result. "We went out and put it all on the line and I would say that was a flawless game". "Really, really happy for him".
Said Lightning defenseman Dan Girardi, "I think it's pretty simple". Ovechkin's three Game 7 victories all came in the first round, one big reason why this conference finals triumph was so liberating. The fourth line can make a difference just as it did in the Lightning's Game 4 win.
Ovechkin then ensured bigger games are to come.
The manager tells Flack, "The only mistake I've ever made in the five years, Rob Tillotson called me and said Dave, the game is tomorrow night".
Nearly every athlete knows that what you put in your body the day of a game is very important. We're going to fight for the Cup. He has more shots than any other Capital, 10 scoring chances, a few rush opportunities and he's been making things happen at 5-on-5.
Whatever it takes to win and advance. The Caps won the first two. Momentum? It has been fleeting. This can be one of those games. "Everybody that gets a chance to be in a Game 7, which will allow you to go to the finals".