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How to watch Capitals vs. Lightning Eastern Conference Final 2018

How to watch Capitals vs. Lightning Eastern Conference Final 2018

After the Capitals finally "exorcised the demons" and advanced past Round 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs by beating the Pittsburgh Penguins, they moved on to the Eastern Conference Final for the first time in franchise history since 1998.

Capitals fans waited for 20-years to see their team advance past the second round and the Caps were not going to make the wait for a Cup any longer.

Saturday, April 4, NBC Sports Washington will be airing Games 1, 2, 6 and 7 of the Eastern Conference Final between the Capitals and Lightning. Here's how to tune in.

When: Saturday, April 4, 10:30 a.m.

Where:

  • NBC Sports Washington (channel finder
  • Any of our 24/7 authenticated streaming platforms


Broadcast Schedule:

10:30 a.m.: NHL Classics: 2018 Playoffs Washington at Tampa Bay [Game 1]

1:30 p.m.: NHL Classics: 2018 Playoffs Washington at Tampa Bay [Game 2] 

4:30 p.m.: NHL Classics: 2018 Playoffs Tampa Bay at Washington [Game 6]

7:00 p.m.: NHL 20: Capitals @ Panthers

8:00 p.m.: NHL Classics: 2018 Playoffs Washington at Tampa Bay [Game 7] 

What happened in the 2018 Eastern Conference Final, Capitals vs. Lightning?

Game 1:

Coming off a high from beating the Penguins to advance to the ECF, the Capitals came out strong, Michal Kempny netting the first goal of the game to put the Caps up 1-0 over the Lightning eight minutes into the first period. With seconds to go, the Lightning took the puck down the ice and scored off of a wild play, but the goal was called back thanks to a too many men on the ice penalty. The Caps took the power play and with only seven seconds left in the first, Alex Ovechkin scored right off the face off to put the Caps up 2-0 heading into the second. Just under three minutes into the second period, Jay Beagle got a lucky bounce putting the Caps up 3 goals over the Lightning. A few minutes later, the Caps got their fourth and final goal of the game, Lars Eller getting the rebound off of an Ovi shot. The Lightning finally got something going in the third period, scoring two goals but it wasn't enough to beat the hot Caps.

Game 2:

The Caps kept their hot streak going into Game 2, this time laying it on with a 6-2 victory. The Caps got on the board first once again, with a shot from Matt Niskanen tipping off the stick of Tom Wilson and past Andrei Vasilevskiy who didn't stand a chance. But minutes later, Brayden Point put the Lightning on the board during a power play, tying the game at 1. The Lightning got on the board again to take the 2-1 lead thanks to another Caps penalty. But little did the Bolts know that would be their final two goals of the game. Early in the second period, a snipe from Devante Smith-Pelly tied the game at 2. With a minute to go in the second, Lars Eller broke the tie to put the Caps up 3-2 and with a mere two seconds left, Evgeny Kuznetsov put the Caps up 4-2 heading into the third. Two more goals followed from Alex Ovechkin and Brett Connolly to beat the Lightning 6-2.

Game 6:

After losing THREE straight games in a row, the Caps headed into a do-or-die Game 6 on the brink of elimination. In the first period, Vasilevskiy stood on his head for the Lightning, denying the Caps on multiple chances with superb goaltending. Finally, T.J. Oshie put the Caps on the board in the second period with a beautiful, one-timer snipe off of a Nicklas Backstrom assist. The Caps got their second goal of the game in the third period thanks to a great hustle by Jay Beagle and Chandler Stephenson to avoid the icing call and a pass to Smith-Pelly in front of the net who made it 2-0 Caps. With just under a minute to play, Nicklas Backstrom got his second assist of the game, passing to Oshie who got his second goal of the game with the empty-netter to secure the 3-0 win and force a decisive Game 7.

Game 7:

It all came down to a decisive Game 7. After losing three straight, the Caps forced Game 7 in Tampa with a 3-0 Game 6 win in Washington. Just 1:02 into the first period, Alex Ovechkin got the Caps on the board. In the second, Andre Burakovsky extended the Caps' lead to 2 and then AGAIN minutes later to make it 3-0. Tampa pulled the goalie with a couple of minutes to go in the third and Nicklas Backstrom capitalized on the opportunity, scoring the fourth and final goal for the Caps to defeat the Lightning 4-0 and advance to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in 20-years. Braden Holtby secured two shutouts in row for Games 6 and 7, a feat only accomplished by four other goalies in NHL history.

Make sure to tune in Saturday, April 4 to watch the Caps beat the Lightning en route to their first-ever Stanley Cup Championship.

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NHL to move to Phase 2 of return to play plan by June 8

NHL to move to Phase 2 of return to play plan by June 8

The NHL will transition to Phase 2 of its return to play plan, the reopening of team facilities for training activities, on June 8, the league announced Thursday.

Since the season was paused on March 12, the league has considered itself to be in Phase 1 of the plan, meaning self-isolation. While the NHL and NHLPA have made progress off the ice towards a return to play negotiating things such as the playoff format, throughout all those talks the league still remained in Phase 1. This is the first concrete step the NHL has taken towards an eventual return to the ice.

"Beginning June 8 – subject to each Club’s satisfaction of all of the requirements set out in the Phase 2 Protocol – Clubs will be permitted to reopen their training facilities in their home city to allow players to participate in individualized training activities (off-ice and on-ice)," a statement released by the NHL said. "Players will be participating on a voluntary basis and will be scheduled to small groups (i.e., a maximum of six Players at any one time, plus a limited number of Club staff). The various measures set out in the Phase 2 Protocol are intended to provide players with a safe and controlled environment in which to resume their conditioning."

As the statement notes, participation in Phase 2 activities are voluntary and will be limited to six players at a time. The Capitals have not yet set a date for the team's start of Phase 2.

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Phase 3 of the plan is training camp and, despite Thursday's announcement, we remain far off from that point. According to Pierre LeBrun, the earliest the league would start camps is July 10. Phase 4 is then the resumption of the season.

Presumably, Phase 3 will not start without a date set for when Phase 4. It is hard to believe the NHLPA would agree to an indefinite training camp. Phase 2, however, can begin without any formalized dates for Phases 3 and 4.  So while this is certainly a step towards the return of hockey and a sign that things are improving, all the difficult deciions regarding health and safety protocols as well as a timeline for the eventual 2020 postseason are still yet to be decided.

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Pittsburgh Penguins announce unnamed player tested positive for COVID-19

Pittsburgh Penguins announce unnamed player tested positive for COVID-19

An unnamed player on the Pittsburgh Penguins has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, the team announced on Thursday.

"This player is not in Pittsburgh and has been in isolation at home since first experiencing symptoms," the statement said. "He is recovered and feeling well. Those in close contact with the player leading up to the diagnosis have been notified." 

The organization stated that there would be no further updates on the player or situation at this time. 

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The Penguins are one of the 24 teams that will participate in the NHL's new playoff format once the season resumes. As of now, training camp for teams will not begin until July 10 at the earliest and there is still no clear timetable for when games will begin.

This announcement does bring up the question as to what the league will do if a positive diagnosis happens once play starts up again. Though NHL deputy commissioner Billy Daly has stated that he doesn't believe one positive test will halt the entire postseason, a plan will need to be put in place for how to handle a player contracting coronavirus.

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