The Washington Capitals dropped a closely-contested defensive affair to the New York Islanders on Wednesday, gaining just a point with a 1-1 shootout loss. Right away Washington will have to look to shake off the loss with the second leg of a back-to-back coming against the Tampa Bay Lightning down in the sunshine state.
The Capitals enter the contest five points out of the final Wild Card spot in the East with just seven games to go. Essentially from here on out, every game is a must-win. Tampa Bay, meanwhile, has been coasting to what will presumably be third place in the Metropolitan Division. They've yet to clinch a playoff spot as the Islanders could eventually leapfrog them by season's end to avoid playing as a Wild Card team.
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These two teams last met back in November, playing two games. Each team won their home game by a sizable margin.
Here’s everything you need to know before puck drop.
CAPITALS VS. LIGHTNING HOW TO WATCH
Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia local news, events and information
What: Washington Capitals vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
Where: Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida
When: Thursday, March 30, 2023, at 7:00 p.m. ET
TV Channel: Capitals vs. Lightning will be broadcast on NBCSW
Live Stream: You can stream Capitals vs. Lightning on NBC Sports Washington's live stream player and the NBC Sports App.
CAPITALS VS. LIGHTNING TV SCHEDULE
6:30 PM: Capitals Pregame Live (LIVE)
7:00 PM: Capitals vs. Lightning (LIVE)
9:30 PM: Capitals Postgame Live (LIVE)
CAPITALS VS. LIGHTNING WHAT TO WATCH
From NBC Sports Washington's Matt Weyrich:
While the game results haven’t thrust the Capitals back into a playoff spot, they have afforded them the chance to see what their blue line for next season might look like. In each of the last three games since John Carlson returned from his skull injury, Washington has played all six of its defensemen who are either signed through next season or set to be a restricted free agent this summer... Read More
CAPITALS VS. LIGHTNING PLAYERS TO WATCH
Capitals: Dylan Strome, C (74 games, 18 goals, 39 assists): Strome has found his home in a Washington Capitals jersey, putting together his most impressive season of his career. Playing on the top line with Alex Ovechkin and TOm Wilson has afforded him ample opportunity to find the stat sheet.
Lightning: Nikita Kucherov, RW (75 games, 28 goals, 76 assists): Third in the NHL in points, Kucherov has reached the 100-point plateau for the first time since prior to the coronavirus pandemic. Now finally healthy, Kucherov leads a talent-heavy Lightning squad back to the playoffs.