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Capitals vs. Penguins: Game 7 time, TV channel, how to watch, live stream

Capitals vs. Penguins: Game 7 time, TV channel, how to watch, live stream

Facing a 3-1 deficit, it looked like the Caps were done. Two wins later, however, and the series is tied heading into Washington and the Caps have all the momentum. After two dominating wins the Caps-Penguins series will all come down to a decisive Game 7 on Wednesday and it seems like everyone is jumping back on the Washington bandwagon and picking them to win the series. Well, almost everyone.

Now with both teams facing elimination, the Caps should expect their biggest challenge from Pittsburgh yet. The Penguins now share in the same desperation that has fueled the Caps. But if Nicklas Backstrom continues to lead Washington and the Caps continue to do the things that have made them successful the past two games, they will finally be able to get past Pittsburgh and the second round.

RELATED: CAPITALS vs. PENGUINS PLAYOFF PREVIEW

CAPITALS VS. PENGUINS GAME 7 HOW TO WATCH

Who: Washington Capitals vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
What: Game 7 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, Eastern Conference Second Round
When: 7:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, May 10
Where: Verizon Center, Washington, D.C.
Online Stream: NBCSN's live stream page. Watch Caps GameTime at 6:30 p.m. and Caps Extra following the game with CSN's live stream page here.
TV Channel: NBCSN
Radio: 1500 AM (Capitals Radio Network)

RELATED: STANLEY CUP POWER RANKINGS

WHEN IS CAPITALS-PENGUINS GAME 7?

The Capitals and Penguins square off in Game 7 of their 2017 second-round playoff series on Wednesday, May 10 at 7:30 p.m. ET.

WHAT CHANNEL IS CAPITALS-PENGUINS GAME 7 ON?

Game 7 of the Capitals-Penguins series will be broadcast on NBCSN and CBC in Canada.

WHERE CAN I STREAM CAPITALS-PENGUINS GAME 7?

Capitals-Penguins Game 7 is available to stream live here through NBCSN's live stream page. Caps GameTime and Caps Extra pre and postgame shows are available to stream live here through CSN's live stream page.

WHAT ARE THE LINES FOR CAPITALS-PENGUINS GAME 7?

Here are the projected lines for Capitals-Penguins Game 7:

CAPITALS

Forwards
Andre Burakovsky - Nicklas Backstrom - T.J. Oshie
Marcus Johansson - Evgeny Kuznetsov - Justin Williams
Alex Ovechkin - Lars Eller - Tom Wilson
Daniel Winnik - Jay Beagle

Defense
Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik - John Carlson
Nate Schmidt - Kevin Shattenkirk
Karl Alzner

Goalies
Braden Holtby starts with Philipp Grubauer as backup

Scratches
Brett Connolly, Paul Carey, Taylor Chorney

PENGUINS

Forwards
Jake Guentzel - Sidney Crosby - Bryan Rust
Chris Kunitz - Evgeni Malkin - Phil Kessel
Conor Sheary - Nick Bonino - Patric Hornqvist
Carl Hagelin - Matt Cullen - Carter Rowney

Defense
Ian Cole - Justin Schultz
Brian Dumoulin - Ron Hainsey
Olli Maatta - Chad Ruhwedel

Goalies
Marc-Andre Fleury starts with Tristan Jarry as backup

Scratches
Scott Wilson, Tom Kuhnhackl, Mark Streit, Trevor Daley, Matt Murray

RELATED: 2017 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF PREDICTIONS

CAPITALS-PENGUINS GAME 7 BETTING LINES

Stanley Cup Odds: Capitals 7/2 (+350), Penguins 17/4 (+425)
Game 7 Spread: Capitals -1.5
Game 7 Over/Under: 5.5 goals
Game 7 Money Line: Capitals (-180), Penguins (+160)

CAPITALS-PENGUINS GAME 7 OPEN THREAD

Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans. 

CSN ON TWITTER:
— CSN's official Capitals account CSN Capitals 
— Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir
— Capitals Digital Producer JJ Regan
— Capitals Desk Producer Troy Machir

Be sure to check out CSN's Facebook page, and CSN's Instagram account

Keep up with all the action here with Capitals GameZone and join in on the conversation here with Capitals Pulse.

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The Lightning are matching their 4th line against Ovechkin...and it’s working

The Lightning are matching their 4th line against Ovechkin...and it’s working

When the starting lines were announced on Saturday, you may have been surprised to hear Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Tom Wilson were starting against Chris Kunitz, Cedric Paquette and Ryan Callahan.

Because the game was in Tampa Bay, the Capitals had to give their starters first. That means Lightning coach Jon Cooper saw the Caps’ were starting their top line and decided to put out his fourth.

And it worked.

On Saturday, Paquette scored just 19 seconds into the game and Callahan scored 33 seconds into the second period. Ovechkin’s line did not manage a shot on goal for the first two periods of the game. Ovechkin did finally score, but it came late on a six-on-five with Braden Holtby pulled and it was not against the fourth line.

The fourth vs. Ovechkin matchup is something the Lightning began in Game 2. No three forwards have played more against Ovechkin at five on five in any game since Game 2 than Kunitz, Paquette and Callahan. Prior to Game 5, they matched up against Ovechkin around six to seven minutes per game. On Saturday, however, Cooper went all in.

At five on five play, Kunitz was on the ice against Ovechkin for 13:04, Paquette for 13:42 and Callahan for 13:46. The results speak for themselves as that line outscored Ovechkin's 2-0. In fact, for the series Ovechkin has produced six points and only two of them have come at five-on-five play.

A fourth line vs. a top line matchup is a risky move because it takes time away from your top offensive playmakers. You typically see top lines face each other or a first line against a second line because, when you line match you are letting the opposing coach dictate how much your own players play. With a fourth line matchup getting essentially top line minutes, that takes time away from players like Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos.

If you look at the five-on-five time on ice for Game 5, Kucherov skated 14:06 and Stamkos 13:37 while Kunitz was on for 14:00, Callahan for 14:45 and Paquette for 14:57.

It is a risky move, but it makes sense for the Lightning. Through four games, the Capitals were the better team five-on-five, but Tampa Bay’s power play was unstoppable. Using the fourth line is a good strategy for Cooper in situations like in Game 3 and Game 4. The Lightning slowed Washington’s five-on-five production and Stamkos and Kucherov still produced enough on the power play even with reduced minutes. It also works for games like the one we saw Saturday.

In a game like Game 5 when your team jumps out to a 3-0 lead, you can afford to roll your lines even if it means giving the fourth line more minutes than the first.

You would think a fourth vs. first matchup would give the Capitals a distinct advantage, but it has not worked out that way. The fourth line has been able to stifle Ovechkin and Co. enough and the Lightning's power play has made up the production lost by the first line's reduced minutes. When the fourth line can score two goals of its own, well, that's just an added bonus.

Ovechkin has to lead his line to a better performance in Game 6. If the Caps’ top line can’t get the better of the Lightning’s fourth, then this series will be over on Monday night.

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Niskanen takes the blame for all three Lightning goals

Niskanen takes the blame for all three Lightning goals

There was no tougher critic on Matt Niskanen’s Game 5 performance on Saturday than Niskanen himself.

Niskanen and his defensive partner, Dmitry Orlov, were on the ice for all three of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s three goals in the Capitals’ 3-2 loss. That was striking given the Orlov-Niskanen duo is typically Washington’s best defensive pair.

That was not the case on Saturday and Niskanen took full responsibility afterward.

“First three goals are all my fault,” Niskanen said. “I had a tough first 20:30 so I've got to be better next game.”

Pretty much no one played the first goal right.

The goal came just 19 seconds into the game. Orlov turned the puck over in the neutral zone and Evgeny Kuznetsov looked like he could have gotten the puck, but instead played the body of Cedric Paquette. Niskanen stepped up at the blue line, but the Lightning got the puck past him creating a short rush that beat Braden Holtby who was way too far back in the crease.

Yes, Niskanen got caught a bit high, but he was just as at fault as Orlov, Kuznetsov and Holtby.

The second goal happened because Steven Stamkos tripped Orlov to create a turnover and it wasn’t called.

Niskanen got in between Ondrej Palat and the puck, but Palat beat both him and Holtby on the shot. Not sure I would put this one on Niskanen.

The third goal…well, that one was a bad play by Niskanen.

When you go one-on-one with a player, a defenseman cannot allow that player to turn the corner. That’s especially true when that player is defenseman Anton Stralman who is not exactly gifted with blazing speed. This was just a complete misplay.

Regardless of how many goals were strictly on Niskanen, that’s not the point. This was a message not so much to the media but to the team. That message was this: This one’s on me, I will be better next game.

Leaders always take responsibility. Niskanen is taking the blame here and saying he will be better in the hopes the team around him will be better as well.

They will need to be to win Game 6.

“A lot of people counted us out when we were down 0-2 in the first round,” Niskanen said. “Things got hard in the last series where we could have melted and we just kept playing. So that's what we've got to do again, bring our best effort for Game 6 at home, win a game and then we'll go from there.

“But we're focused on bringing our best game of the season for Game 6 and we'll be ready to go.”

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