The Washington Capitals and Tampa Bay Lightning are ready to hit the ice in the 2018 NHL Eastern Conference Finals to determine which team will advance to the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Final.
The Capitals' return to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since the 1997-98 season, the same year the Capitals advanced to their first and only Stanley Cup Final. Washington exercised its playoff demons, defeating the Penguins in Game 6 to earn the right to face the Lightning.
Tampa Bay qualified for its third NHL Eastern Conference Finals in four years having defeated the Boston Bruins in Game 5 on Sunday, winning the series 4-1. The Lightning enters the Eastern Conference Finals with an 8-2 record in the 2018 NHL Playoffs.
The Lightning, champions of the Atlantic Division, finished the 2017-18 NHL regular-season with an Eastern Conference-best 113 points (54-23-5) and enter the Eastern Conference Finals with an 8-2 record in the 2018 NHL Playoffs. The Capitals, champions of the Metropolitan Division, finished the 2017-18 NHL regular-season with 105 points (49-26-7) and enter the Eastern Conference Finals with an 8-4 record in the 2018 NHL Playoffs.
The Capitals and Lighting met three times during the regular season.
T.J. Oshie scored twice in the Capitals' 4-3 overtime loss to the Lightning in Tampa Bay on Monday, Oct. 9. The Capitals defeated the Lightning a month later at Capital One Arena with a 3-1 victory on Friday, Nov, 24. The regular-season series finale between the Capitals and Lightning took place at Capital One Arena on Tuesday, Feb. 24, with the Lightning scoring the 4-2 win in regulation. With the victory, the Lightning took the regular-season series from the Capitals, 1-1-1.
The Capitals and Lightning have met twice before in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, with Tampa Bay emerging victorious both occasions. In 2003, the Lightning bounced the Capitals from the first round of the playoffs, 4-2. The Lightning then eliminated the Capitals from the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs in a four-game semifinal sweep following Washington's grueling seven-game series with the Rangers.
Game 1 2018 NHL Eastern Conference Finals will take place in Tampa, Fla., but the date and start time are still to be determined.
NBC Sports Washington will broadcast official pre- and postgame coverage of the 2018 NHL Playoffs Eastern Conference Finals with Caps Faceoff and Caps GameTime preceding Capitals vs. Lightning puck drop and Caps Extra and Caps OverTime following the end of each game.
You can stream the entire 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs online using the NBC Sports App.
MORE CAPITALS PLAYOFF NEWS:
- Streak Over: D.C. finally breaks through
- Power Ranks: Updated Standings
- Series Anatomy: Dissecting Caps-Pens
CAPITALS EXTRA PODCAST: GAME 6