Washington Capitals vs Tampa Bay Lightning

The defending Cup Champion Washington Capitals head into Tampa, FL. to take on this year’s Stanley Cup favourite Tampa Bay Lightning at the Amalie Arena Saturday night. The puck is set to drop at 7PM EST. Televised broadcasts can be found on NBC Sports Washington, SunS, and the NHL network. Radio broadcasts provided by Capitals radio 24/7 and WFAN.

How to Watch

Where: Amalie Arena - Tampa, FL.

When: Saturday, March 30, 7PM EST

How (TV/Radio): NBC Sports Washington, SunS, NHL | Capitals 24/7, WFAN

Washington Capitals (Away)

Head Coach: Todd Reirden {All-Time 45-24-8 WAS}

Currently with a season record of 45-24-8, the Washington Capitals find themselves in the first-place position in the Metropolitan division. They have also won two in a row at the time of writing and are 6-3-1 in their last ten games.

Even with all the fire power that the Capitals possess, it’s not unshocking that they hold zero offensive advantages over the Tampa Bay Lightning in the game. The Capitals are the fifth highest scoring team in the league. The Lightning are the first. Washington also possesses the second-best shooting percentage in the league. The Lightning are first. The big thing to note is that the Washington Capitals need to focus on their possession numbers, starting with faceoffs. The Caps are currently dead last in the league in faceoff wins, with a 45 per cent success rate. The Lightning rank eighth.

Defensively, Washington takes fewer penalties and allows fewer shots on average than their opponents. However, they allow more goals and their penalty kill is abysmal by comparison. The Washington Capitals penalty kill ranks 24th in the league. The Lightning are second.

Goaltender Braden Holtby is most likely to get the start against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Holtby has gone 29-19-5 this season with a goals against average of 2.86 and a save percentage of .910. He has three shutouts.

Tampa Bay Lightning (Home)

Head Coach: Jon Cooper {All-Time 302-157-44 TBL}

The Tampa Bay Lightning have been simply unstoppable this season. Their current season record sits at 59-14-4 and the team has gone 8-2-0 in their last ten games. They were the first team to clinch a playoff spot and have already clinched the President’s trophy. They are first-place in the Atlantic division and the entire league.

As mentioned earlier, the Bolts rank first in the NHL in goals scored - averaging just under four goals per game. They also have the first overall powerplay and the first overall shooting percentage. They rank eighth in the league in faceoffs won and 14th overall when it comes to shots taken.

On the backend, things are a little more divided between these two teams. The Lightning allow fewer goals but allow more shots, on average, per game. Tampa also takes more penalties than their opponents, but their penalty kill ranks second in the league compared to Washington’s 24th.

Expect to see starting goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy between the pipes for the Lightning. Vasilevskiy has an outstanding season record of 37-9-4. His goals against average is 2.36 and his save percentage is .927. He has six shutouts this season.

These two teams last met on March 20th where the Tampa Bay Lightning came away with a 5-4 victory.

What's At Stake?

At this point, there isn’t much at stake other than bragging rights. The Washington Capitals were the Stanley Cup champions last year and hope to repeat that feat. But they are up against the odds-on favourite to win it all this season in the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Tampa Bay has already clinched a playoff spot and the first-place seed in the league. The Capitals are all but official. If anyone could benefit from the two points more, it would be the Capitals but a loss won’t take them out of first-place in their division.

Questions to answer

Are we about to witness a playoff preview? Will the winner of this game give us any insight as to who is favoured to win it all this season?

How much will Washington’s poor play in the faceoff circle affect their possession game and how many shots they can muster, and ultimately, how many goals they can score?

Will Tampa Bay Lightning Andrei Vasilevskiy make it through the season without hitting double-digit loses?

Washington Capitals Injury Report

F T.J. Oshie - day-to-day (illness)

D Michal Kempny - day-to-day (lower-body)

Tampa Bay Lightning Injury Report

F Ondrej Palat - day-to-day (upper-body)

D Dan girardi - day-to-day (lower-body)

D Anton Stralman - day-to-day (lower-body)

Washington Capitals at Tampa Bay Lightning Predictions and Odds

Bettors who reside in New Jersey can wager on various props such as point spreads, over/unders, and player stats at the 888Sport sportsbook.

The moneyline odds on offer for this game are:

  • Washington Capitals: +160
  • Tampa Bay Lightning: -200

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