The best in the Atlantic against the best in the Metro tonight in a rematch of last year’s Eastern Conference Final. Tampa’s been an unstoppable force all season and is all but guaranteed to clinch the Presidents Trophy sometime in the next few games but the defending champion Washington Capitals have also been playing some great hockey over the past month.
There aren’t too many month-long sample sizes this year where Tampa doesn’t have the best record and once again the Bolts come out on top tied with Arizona since February 16th. Only two points short of them with the third-best record is……Washington.
These two teams use different approaches to create offense. The Bolts create more scoring chances than anyone by whipping it around in the offensive zone while the Caps are all about rush chances.
Tampa can wear a team down with its cycle game and their forwards are so skilled that all they need is the smallest opening for them to make a team pay.
Washington, on the other hand, loves to use its speed to create room for themselves while attacking the net. They rarely dump it in and effectively move the puck through the neutral zone.
Unlike the Lightning, the Capitals haven’t been creating a crazy amount of scoring chances but they are capitalizing on them, scoring 47 goals which is tied for the fourth most over the past month.
The Lightning and the Capitals have high-octane offenses that can score at any time. They have great goal scorers and elite passers and tonight they’ll be on full display. This should be a really fun game to watch, full of exciting plays and incredible goals, especially with the Caps trying to hold onto that top spot in the Metropolitan division. Yes, Tampa Bay is having an all-time season but, like last year, the Caps are peaking at the right time. This could very well be a preview of another East Final match-up.
(Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images)