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Wanna bet on who wins the Hart Trophy?


Wanna bet on who wins the Hart Trophy?

If you believe the odds coming out of Las Vegas, where the NHL will stage its annual awards show from the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino tonight [7 p.m. NBCSN], Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price has the best chance of winning the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s Most Valuable Player.

If it happens he’ll become the first goalie to win the award since former Capitals netminder Jose Theodore did so with the Canadiens in 2002.  

But that’s not how I selected. As a long-time member of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association, I am given the annual privilege of voting for five of the NHL’s top player awards, along with my selections for post-season All-Star and All-Rookie teams. We are asked to provide five players, in order of preference, for each of the five individual awards.

For better or worse, here’s how I voted:

Alex Ovechkin
Carey Price
John Tavares
Jamie Benn
Sidney Crosby
NORRIS TROPHY [Top Defenseman]
P.K. Subban
Ryan McDonagh
Erik Karlsson
Shea Weber
Ryan Suter
Aaron Ekblad
Johnny Gaudreau
Filip Forsberg
Jake Allen
Kevin Hayes
LADY BYNG TROPHY [Most Gentlemanly]
Nicklas Backstrom
Steven Stamkos
Rick Nash
Daniel Sedin
Patrice Bergeron
SELKE TROPHY [Top Two-way Forward]
Max Pacioretty
Nicklas Backstrom
Tyler Johnson
Derek Stepan
Jonathan Toews
CENTER -- John Tavares, Nicklas Backstrom, Sidney Crosby
RIGHT WING -- Vladimir Tarasenko, Jakub Voracek, Nikita Kucherov
LEFT WING -- Alex Ovechkin, Rick Nash, Jamie Benn
DEFENSE -- P.K. Subban, Ryan McDonagh, Erik Karlsson, Shea Weber, 
Ryan Suter, John Carlson.
GOALTENDER -- Carey Price, Braden Holtby, Pekka Rinne

FORWARD -- Johnny Gaudreau, Filip Forsberg, Kevin Hayes

DEFENSE -- Aaron Ekblad, John Klingberg
GOAL -- Jake Allen

As for the Vegas odds on all of the major awards, here you go, for entertainment purposes, of course:

Odds to win Hart Memorial Trophy    

Carey Price (MON)                     1/20     

Alexander Ovechkin (WAS)        5/1       

John Tavares (NYI)                    10/1     

Odds to win Vezina Trophy   

Carey Price (MON)                     1/100   

Pekka Rinne (NAS)                    13/2     

Devan Dubnyk (MIN)                 11/1     

Odds to win James Norris Memorial Trophy  

Erik Karlsson (OTT)                   1/4       

P K Subban (MON)                    11/4     

Drew Doughty (LA)                    6/1        

Odds to win Calder Memorial Trophy

Johnny Gaudreau (CAL) 1/2       

Aaron Ekblad (FLA)                   7/4       

Mark Stone (OTT)                      5/1       

Odds to win Lady Byng Memorial Trophy      

Anze Kopitar (LA)                      5/11     

Pavel Datsyuk (DET)                 12/5     

Jiri Hudler (CAL)                        4/1       

Odds to win Frank J. Selke Trophy    

Patrice Bergeron (BOS)             2/9       

Jonathan Toews (CHI)                7/2       

Anze Kopitar (LA)                      5/1       

Odds to win Jack Adams Award        

Bob Hartley (CAL)                     2/11     

Alain Vigneault (NYR)                4/1       

Peter Laviolette (NSH)               5/1       

Odds to win Ted Lindsay Award        

Carey Price (MON)                     2/7       

Alexander Ovechkin (WAS)        5/2       

Jamie Benn (DAL)                     6/1        


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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)


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.


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


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.


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.