Washington 4 Tampa Bay 1
CAPITALS RACE TO 4-0 LEAD, HANG ON TO WIN GAME 1 OF CONFERENCE FINAL
The Capitals scored four times on their first 15 shots, including two power-play goals, and held off a late rally to defeat the Lightning in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final. Washington improved to 6-1 on the road in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs, outscoring opponents 24-15 in those contests
* The Capitals lead all teams in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs with a franchise-record 15 power-play goals, four more than the next-closest club in the Conference Finals (TBL: 11). The record for most power-plays goals in a postseason is 35 (since 1933-34), a mark set by the Minnesota North Stars in the 1991 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
* Alex Ovechkin (1-1—2) scored his 55th career postseason goal to pass Nicklas Lidstrom, Rick MacLeish and Steve Thomas (all w/ 54) for sole possession of 44th place on the NHL’s all-time list. He has scored nine goals in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs (9-8—17), five shy of the franchise record for most in postseason set by John Druce in 1990 (14).
* John Carlson (0-1—1) is tied for second among all defensemen with 3-9—12 in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs, trailing only Winnipeg’s Dustin Byfuglien (4-9—13). He matched the franchise record for most points in a playoff year by a defenseman, a mark set by Kevin Hatcher (5-7—12) and Scott Stevens (1-11—12) in 1988 and matched by Carlson in 2016 (5-7—12).
* Braden Holtby (19 saves) improved to 9-3 in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs (2.04 GAA, .925 SV%). His nine wins are three shy of the franchise record for most by a goaltender in a postseason, a mark set by Olie Kolzig in Washington’s run to the 1998 Stanley Cup Final (12-9).
JETS, GOLDEN KNIGHTS SET FOR CONFERENCE FINALS DEBUT
The Western Conference Final begins in Winnipeg on Saturday when the Jets, who finished second overall in the regular season standings, host the Pacific Division champion Golden Knights. For the first time in NHL history two teams will meet after each recording their first two series wins.
* This marks the first time that two franchises will meet while each making their first-ever appearance in the Conference Finals since 2003, when the Ducks defeated the Wild in a four-game sweep.
* The Jets became the fourth team in the last five years to earn a Game 7 victory against the Presidents’ Trophy-winning team in the Second Round vs. Nashville, joining the Penguins in the 2017 Second Round vs. Washington, the Lightning in the 2015 Conference Finals vs. NY Rangers and the Canadiens in the 2014 Second Round vs. Boston.
* Vegas, meanwhile, is just the third franchise in NHL history to win multiple series in its inaugural season joining the 1918 Toronto Arenas and 1968 St. Louis Blues. No team in NHL history has won three series in its inaugural season.
* Jets forward Mark Scheifele (11-5—16) leads the League with 11 goals this postseason, including an NHL-record seven road goals during the Second Round. His four multi-goal games in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs, including 2-0—2 in Game 7 vs. NSH, tops all skaters.
* Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury enters the Conference Finals with an 8-2 record in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs (1.53 GAA, .951 SV%, 4 SO). His goals-against average and save percentage lead the League among goaltenders to appear in at least five games in the 2018 postseason.
* The Golden Knights edged the Jets in their three-game regular-season series (VGK, 2-1-0; WPG, 1-1-1).