5 things to watch in Game 7 of NHL Eastern Conference Final

Gerard Gallant says he doesn’t care which team the Golden Knights will face when the Stanley Cup Final begins next week.

“They’re both excellent hockey teams,” Gallant said Tuesday. “It’s going to be a battle. Seven-game series, and again, I hope it goes three periods of overtime (Wednesday) night, and whoever comes out of it is a little bit tired.”

The Tampa Bay Lightning host the Washington Capitals in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final at 5 p.m. Wednesday at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida.

The Knights await the winner in the Stanley Cup Final, with Game 1 set for Monday.

“Both of those teams are quick and fast and got some top-end talent,” Gallant added.

Here is what to watch for when the Lightning and Capitals take the ice:

1. From Russia with love.

Both teams are loaded with star players who hail from the world’s largest country, but there are two to keep an eye on.

Capitals star Alex Ovechkin has six points in the series against Tampa Bay but has struggled during 5-on-5 play. The Lightning have matched their fourth line against Ovechkin as often as possible, and that unit produced two goals with him on the ice in Tampa Bay’s Game 5 victory.

Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov owns a minus-5 rating in the conference final and has two goals in his past 11 games after scoring a team-high 39 during the regular season.

2. Hot Holtby.

Washington’s Braden Holtby, who was demoted at the start of the playoffs, is coming off a 24-save effort in his team’s 3-0 victory in Game 6. It was his first shutout of the season.

But the 28-year-old veteran has not fared well in Game 7s during his career, posting a 2-4 record despite a solid .923 save percentage. Holtby will need to be on Wednesday or Vezina Trophy finalist Andrei Vasilevskiy could steal the series for the Lightning.

3. Yanni or Laurel?

Lightning winger Yanni Gourde had a career year with 25 goals and 64 points during the regular season. But the 26-year-old has yet to score a goal in the conference final and has two in 16 playoff games.

In the Lightning’s three victories, the second line, which includes Gourde, combined for two goals (both by Brayden Point) and five assists; they have one goal and two assists in the three losses.

4. Power up.

Tampa Bay had the No. 3 power play in the league during the regular season at 23.9 percent, and they’ve scorched the Capitals with the man advantage throughout the series.

The Lightning were clicking at a ridiculous 40 percent (6-for-15) with the man advantage in the first five games of the series before going 0-for-2 against the Capitals in Game 6.

The referees usually swallow the whistle in a Game 7, but Washington needs to stay out of the penalty box regardless.

5. Home-ice advantage?

The road teams won the first four games of this series, and Washington is 7-2 on the road during this postseason.

The Capitals closed out the opening-round series at Columbus and defeated the Penguins in Pittsburgh during Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Since 2005-06, Washington has played three Game 7s on the road and is 1-2, losing to the New York Rangers in 2012 and 2015, and defeating Boston in 2012. If you’re into trends, all three of those games ended with the score 2-1.

Contact David Schoen at dschoen@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5203. Follow @DavidSchoenLVRJ on Twitter.

Golden Knights Videos
Coach Gallant Speaks with the Media After Practice
City National Arena | November 15, 2018.
Golden Edge: Fleury Shuts Out Anaheim
Vegas Golden Knights beat the Anaheim Ducks 5-0. Marc-Andre Fleury gets his third shutout on the season in his shiny new pads. Adam Hill, Dave Schoen, and Ben Gotz report from T-Mobile Arena.
Gallant on the Golden Knights win over the Ducks
Gerard Gallant discusses how key the home victory over the Anaheim Ducks was for the Vegas Golden Knights.
Golden Knights after their 5-0 win over the Anaheim Ducks
Vegas Golden Knights players talk about the 5-0 win on their home ice over the Anaheim Ducks.
Gerard Gallant On Haula And Stastny Status
Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallants speaks after practice about the status of Erik Haula and Paul Stastny.
Golden Edge: Alex Tuch Interview
Adam Hill and Ben Gotz interview Golden Knights forward Alex Tuch.
Golden Edge Mailbag With Alex Tuch
Golden Knights' Alex Tuch is LIVE in-studio for our VGK Mailbag with reporters Ben Gotz and Adam Hill!
Golden Edge: November 12 Practice
Ben Gotz and David Schoen discuss Nate Schmidt's return to practice, Gallant's absence, and Erik Haula's injury.
Nate Schmidt On Suspension
Golden Knights Defenseman Nate Schmidt talks about his suspension.
Golden Edge: Knights Coming Home After Loss To Boston
Golden Knights beat writer David Schoen goes over the Knights loss to the Boston Bruins.
Golden Edge: Pacioretty makes his return to Montreal
Max Pacioretty makes his return to Montreal, but it is former Golden Knight Tomas Tatar who scores the game winner for the Canadiens defeating the Knights 5-4. David Schoen reports from Montreal.
Golden Edge: Knights Beat Senators On The Road
Golden Knights beat reporter David Schoen goes over the Golden Knights win against the Senators.
Knights defenseman Nate Schmidt discusses his suspension
Golden Knights defenseman Nate Schmidt discusses his suspension after practice in Ottawa (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gallant on Toronto loss
Gallant on Pacioretty
Gallant on how season has gone
Pacioretty on possible return
Golden Edge: Knights Shutout the Hurricanes
The Golden Knights defeat Carolina 3-0, with Marc-Andre Fleury marking his 50th career shutout. Adam Hill and Ed Graney report from T-Mobile Arena.
Marc-Andre Fleury and William Carrier on the Knights Win Over Carolina
November 3, 2018 at T-Mobile Arena.
Coach Gallant Presser
Gerard Gallant speaks after the Knights defeat Carolina 3-0 at T-Mobile Arena November 3, 2018.
Golden Edge: Knights Feeling Blue After Loss In St. Louis
Golden Knights beat reporter David Schoen goes over the Knights 5-3 loss to the St. Louis Blues.
Gallant and Marchessault on Perron
Coach Gerard Gallant and Golden Knights Jonathan Marchessault comment on former Knights player David Perron (Dave Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Coach Gerard Gallant on former Knights player David Perron
Coach Gerard Gallant on former Knights player David Perron (Dave Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Marchessault on Perron
Gallant on consistency after a loss to the Nashville Predators
Coach Gerard Gallant says the Golden Knights are playing well in stretches, but consistency has been a problem. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Fleury on commercial
Marc-Andre Fleury talks about a commercial that features him in disguise as Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Fleury on wig
Marc-Andre Fleury puts on a blond wig at the end of practice to get some laughs.
Golden Edge: Knights Fall To Predators
Golden Knights beat reporter David Schoen goes over the Knights 4-1 loss to the Nashville Predators.
Golden Edge Mailbag - October 30, 2018
Adam Hill and Ben Gotz answer your burning questions about the Golden Knights.
Golden Edge: Marchessault Hits Penalty Shot in OT
The Golden Knights defeat the Ottawa Senators 4-3 in overtime. Ben Gotz, Adam Hill, and David Schoen report from T-Mobile Arena.
Gallant says team's tenacity led to OT win over the Senators
Vegas Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant discusses the Golden Knights win over the Ottawa Senators in overtime and how Ryan Reaves and Alex Tuch's contributions helped.
Golden Knights talk OT win, ready for road games
The Vegas Golden Knights talk about winning in overtime against the Ottawa Senators and how they will carry over that momentum on their upcoming road games.
Golden Edge: Knights Fall To Tampa, Pacioretty Exits Game
Adam Hill, Ben Gotz and David Schoen go over the Knights loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Golden Knights locker room post following loss to Lightning
The Vegas Golden Knights agreed following their loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning that they need to play more aggressive and be more consistent throughout the game to come out victorious.
Gallant says Golden Knights need to play hungrier
Following the Vegas Golden Knights loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Gerard Gallant says the team needs to play hungrier and be more consistent to get wins.
Golden Edge: Knights Fall Short to Canucks in Shootout
The Golden Knights lose 3-2 in a shootout to the Vancouver Canucks, but announce after the game that they have signed Nate Schmidt to a 6 year contract extension. Adam Hill, David Schoen, and Ben Gotz report from T-Mobile Arena.
Golden Knights coach Gallant on team's loss to Vancouver, Schmidt's new deal
Following the Golden Knights 3-2 loss to the Canucks, head coach Gerard Gallant addressed the missed opportunities and also spoke about Nate Schmidt's new contract with the team.
VGS themed games from AGS at G2E Global Gaming Expo
A Golden Knights-themed slot machine was on display Tuesday at the G2E Global Gaming Expo as AGS showed two products that came out of a 3-year contract with the Knights. A video roulette game featuring a Knights helmet and an enormous slot machine were on the floor along with Knights cheerleaders, the Drumbots and Chance, the Knights' mascot. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights talk after practice
Marc-Andre Fleury, Max Pacioretty and Cody Eakin in the locker room on Wed. October 3, 2018.
Vegas Golden Knights show support at blood drive
Members of the Vegas Golden Knights NHL team showed up for a community blood drive on the first anniversary of the Las Vegas shooting, Oct. 1, 2018. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada Task Force One Cheers Golden Knights
Nevada Task Force One Cheers Golden Knights
Lucas Elvenes is ranked as one of the Golden Knights' top prospects
Lucas Elvenes is ranked as one of the Golden Knights' top prospects after a breakout season in Sweden. He slid to the fifth round in the 2017 draft after being projected to be selected much higher. “I wasn’t happy about being a fifth-rounder. But it was good for me, too, because I didn’t have so much pressure when I came here," Elvenes said. Elvenes posted five goals and 16 points in 28 games while playing in the top league in Sweden. The Knights signed Elvenes to a three-year, entry-level contract in June.
Golden Knights rookie camp - Day 2
The Golden Knights held their second day of rookie camp at City Arena in Las Vegas. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like