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Ribeiro the rapper meets the media

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Ribeiro the rapper meets the media

When recently acquired Capitals center Mike Ribeiro greeted the Washington media on Saturday at Kettler Capitals Iceplex, he showed up wearing a diamond earring, a gold necklace, white pants and sandals.
Adam Oates first impressions of the 32-year-old veteran?
Well, hes skinnier than I thought he was, Oates said. And, oh my, hes a rapper. He looks like a rapper.
Just imagine the kind of music Ribeiro and Alex Ovechkin could make. After all, Ovechkin was featured in a Russian rap video last summer.
The Caps, of course, are more interested to see what kind of music Ribeiro and Ovechkin can create on the ice next season. The Capitals acquired Ribeiro from the Dallas Stars just before the NHL draft on June 22, in exchange for Cody Eakin and the 54th pick of the draft.
In his past six seasons in Dallas, Ribeiro has averaged 21 goals and 47 assists and the Capitals are expecting similar numbers next season, especially if he is matched with Ovechkin.

Obviously its a team with a lot of skill and a lot of talent and Im here to create, Ribeiro said. Im a guy that likes to create so its nice to have guys who can put the puck in the net.
At the end of the day every year this team is among the top five favorites for winning the Cup but theres always a missing piece or two, so hopefully I can be that piece that helps this team go farther in the playoffs and hopefully win a Cup.
When Ribeiro was traded from the Montreal Canandiens to the Stars in 2006 he thought he was going to the Capitals instead. This time around he wasnt sure where he was headed but with one year and 5 million remaining on his contract he had a good idea the Stars were ready to cut ties with him.
We changed coaches twice and we didnt make the playoffs the last four years so you figure that the next thing they may do is trade the top salary or the top player, so I was waiting for it, Ribeiro said. I just didnt know where I was going. But Im glad that Im here and have a chance to win and a chance to win the Cup.
For those counting, thats three references to the Stanley Cup in a span of just a few minutes.
Ribeiro said one of the first phone calls he received after the trade came from Ovechkin, who struggled through a 65-point season last year, the least productive of his career.
Thats the first thing that crossed my mind, Ribeiro said of playing alongside Ovechkin. I like right-handers and hes a right-handed shooter and it will probably be easier for me during the game to give the puck to a guy like that who can score.
But most of all, the first thing that crossed my mind was the power play and being able to have Mike Green and Ovechkin, two right-handed shots, and to be able to dish to those guys. Hopefully, we can have a great power play because nowadays special teams are one of the most important things in the game.
Although Ribeiros career numbers 173 goals, 287 assists pale in comparison to Oates 341 goals, 1,079 assists, he said the two play very similar styles and overcame many of the same obstacles.
He wasnt that fast, Im not that fast, Ribeiro said. Hes a guy that likes to create plays and Im kind of the same. Obviously, he was probably a better than me as a passer.
He looks cool and relaxed and really down to earth and I guess for players like us, its nice to know that your coach played in the league and knows the game a little bit more. Im just anxious to come here and learn again. Ive learned from all my coaches and Im sure Im going to learn again. Im 32 and Ive learned a lot but theres a lot more to learn too and Im excited for it.
Oates recorded 651 points after his 32nd birthday and is hoping Ribeiro is capable of getting better with age, especially if he shares the ice with Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom.
I feel 22, said Ribeiro, who has two boys, Mikael, 11, and Noah, 7, and a girl, Viktoria, 6. I feel great. With the talent that we have and the skill and players that we have I can see myself having an even better season than in the past.
Ribeiro joked that Ovechkin is one of his sons favorite players and he hopes playing with No. 8 will rejuvenate his career. Ribeiro has also chosen to wear No. 9, a number he wore when he was growing up but was denied him when he played in Montreal because of Rocket Richard and in Dallas because of Mike Modano.
When I came here, the first thing I said was, Well, 9 is free. So for the first time after 12 years, I can play with it, Ribeiro said.
Ribeiro said he is hoping the Capitals can get him back to the playoffs for the first time since 2008. In 42 career playoff games Ribeiro has five goals and 20 assists but no Cup rings.
Championships is winning by defense, he said. You can score five, six, seven goals during the regular season and when it comes to playoff time, you score two or three max.
You need to focus defensively a little bit more and take chances away from other teams. With the talent that we have, the skill, I think if you're patient and play smart defensively, you'll create offense just by your skill.

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5 reasons the Caps beat the Lightning in Game 6

5 reasons the Caps beat the Lightning in Game 6

After losing three straight, the Capitals battled back in Game 6 on Monday. With their 3-0 win, Washington forced the Eastern Conference Final into a decisive Game 7 on Wednesday.

Here is how the Caps did it.

1. Braden Holtby matched Andrei Vasilevskiy save for save

Andrei Vasilevskiy was just as great in this game as he was in the three previous, but one of the major differences in this one was that Holtby was just as good. He may not have been tested as much (Vasilevskiy made 32 saves, Holtby 24), but he was big when the team needed.

In the second period with the scored tied at 0, Holtby made one of the most critical saves perhaps of the entire season when he denied Anthony Cirelli with the toe on a 2-on-1. When the Caps took the lead, Holtby really shut the door in the third period with 10 saves to cap off what was his fifth career playoff shutout and first shutout of the entire season.

2. T.J. Oshie’s timely goal

Over halfway into the game, it looked like it was just going to be one of those nights. Caps fans know it well by now. Washington outplays their opponent, they get chance after chance and develop a whopping advantage in shots, but they run into a hot goalie and a random play suddenly turns into a goal for the other team, game and season over.

Vasilevskiy was on his way to having perhaps his best performance of the series. Considering how he played in the three games prior to Game 6, that’s saying something. The Caps were doing everything right, but he continued to make save after save. Then on the power play in the second period, John Carlson struck the inside of the post, the horn went off and the roar of the crowd gave way to dismay as the referee waved his arms to indicate there was no goal and play continued. Just seconds later, T.J. Oshie gave the Caps the 1-0 lead.

You have to wonder if doubt was starting to creep into the back of the minds of the players when that puck struck the post as they wondered what else they had to do to beat Vasilevskiy. Luckily, that feeling didn’t last long.

3. Special teams

Braydon Coburn’s tripping penalty in the second period gave Washington its only power play of the night and its first since the second period of Game 4. They had to make it count given how well Vasilveskiy was playing and they did.

Washington now has a power play goal in each of their three wins against the Lightning and no power play goals in their three losses. So yeah, it’s significant.

Tampa Bay had two opportunities of their own, but Washington managed to kill off both power plays in the penalty kill’s best performance of the series.

4. Washington’s physical game plan

On paper, the Lightning are better than the Caps in most categories. One area in which Washington has the edge, however, is physical play and it was clear very early that they intended to use that to their advantage in Game 6. Tampa Bay was pushed around and they seemed to struggle to recover.

Ovechkin was a one-man wrecking ball out there hitting everything that moved. The energy he brought with every hit was palpable and both the team and the crowd fed on it.

Washington was credited with 39 hits on the night compared to Tampa Bay’s 19. Ovechkin had four of those as did Nicklas Backstrom while Devante Smith-Pelly contributed five and Tom Wilson and Brooks Orpik each led the team with six.

5. Fourth line dagger

Tampa Bay’s fourth line was the story of Game 5, but Washington’s fourth line sealed the deal on Monday with its third period goal.

Chandler Stephenson beat out an icing call, forcing Braydon Coburn to play the puck along the wall. Jay Beagle picked it up, fed back to Stephenson who backhanded a pass for the perfect setup for Devante Smith-Pelly.

Smith-Pelly scored seven goals in the regular season. He now has four in the playoffs.

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Capitals vs. Lightning Game 7 Eastern Conference Final 2018: Date, time, TV Channel, live stream

Capitals vs. Lightning Game 7 Eastern Conference Final 2018: Date, time, TV Channel, live stream

Game 7.

It's the best phrase in all of hockey, and on Wednesday, May 23, Game 7 of the 2018 NHL Eastern Conference Final between the Capitals and Lightning will go down in Tampa, Fla.

The Capitals' path to Game 7 was less than ordinary. After racing to a 2-0 series lead with back-to-back road wins in Tampa, the Lightning responded with three straight wins, forcing the Capitals' to the brink of the 2017-18 season.

But in Game 6 on Tuesday night, the team put on their best performance of the season, blanking the Lightning and forcing Game 7 at Amalie Arena.

The winner of Game 7 advances to the Stanley Cup Final, where the Vegas Golden Nights await, having defeated the Winnipeg Jets to advance to the championship round in the team's inaugural season.

Game 7 Capitals at Lightning
Date: Wednesday, May 23
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET
Location: Amalie Arena. Tampa, Fla.
TV Channel: NBCSN 
How To Watch Live StreamingNBC Sports App Live Stream
Radio: Capitals Radio Network (106.7 FM)

WHEN IS GAME 7 OF THE CAPITALS-LIGHTNING SERIES?

Game 7 of the Capitals-Lightning 2018 NHL Eastern Conference Final takes place on Wednesday, May 21 at 8:00 p.m. at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla.

WHAT TV CHANNEL IS GAME 7 OF THE CAPITALS-LIGHTNING SERIES ON?

The TV broadcast of Game 7 between the Capitals and Lightning is on NBC. Capitals pre- and postgame coverage takes place on NBC Sports Washington. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

6:00 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
7:00 p.m. — Caps GameTime
8:00 p.m. — Game 7 Capitals vs. Lightning
10:30 p.m. — Caps Extra
11:30 p.m. — Caps Overtime

WHERE CAN I STREAM CAPITALS vs. LIGHTNING GAME 7?

Game 7 of the 2018 NHL Eastern Conference Final between the Capitals and Lightning is available for online stream on the NBC Sports App. Click here for the NBC Sports live stream page.

CAPITALS vs. LIGHTNING GAME 7 OPEN THREAD

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

For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals digital producer JJ Regan and the NBC Sports Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and NBC Sports Washington's Facebook page.