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Caps force Game 7 against Lightning after a hardworking 3-0 victory in Game 6
By Chris Yackel
There will be a Game 7 in Tampa Bay on Wednesday night. The hard work and physical play from the Washington Capitals made sure of that. The Capitals from top to bottom of their lineup were playing determined hockey. They wanted to win Game 6 more than the Tampa Bay Lightning. Now that’s not a knock on the Lightning they had their flashes of good play in this one, but they did not match the compete level of the Washington Capitals. They were not as engaged as the Washington Capitals.
It starts with the physical game. The Capitals outhit the Lightning 39-19, as Alex Ovechkin, Tom Wilson and Brooks Orpik all lead the charge in that department. The Lightning looked like they wanted no part of this physical matchup, as they weren’t willing to throw the body around as much as the Caps were in this one. It cost them big time as the Caps physical play wore down the Lightning. The Lightning also did not play with the same speed and pace that we all are accustomed to seeing. They lost several puck battles tonight and hardly got to pucks first.
The big guns for Washington showed up in this one too. Alex Ovechkin did not record a point, but he was dominant in creating scoring chances, giving energy to his team and as mentioned previously being a big physical presence. Ovechkin had 4 hits which was tied for second on the night for the Caps. Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie also came to play, as Oshie had 2 goals in this one and Backstrom the playmaker he is assisted both of them. Both of them were key in getting the Capitals their first goal at the end of the second period. For Tampa Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov did not match the play of the Capitals stars. Ultimately, that was one big reason why the Lightning fell tonight.
The Caps secondary guys were big in this one as well. Guys like Jay Beagle, Devante Smith-Pelly and Tom Wilson among others gave Washington that extra boost they needed to pull this one out. The Devante Smith-Pelly goal was proof of that as he gave Washington a 2-0 lead on an effort goal by that entire Caps foutyh line. Tampa’s bottom six didn’t play to that level what so ever.
Game 7 is upon us now. So much on the line. A chance for a trip to the Stanley Cup Final and a date with Vegas. Should be a good one on Wednesday night.
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