STANLEY CUP FINAL BERTH ON THE LINE IN GAME 7
The Lightning and Capitals will face off in Game 7 tonight at AMALIE Arena in Tampa with the winner crowned the Eastern Conference champion and earning the right to face the Golden Knights in the Stanley Cup Final. Tampa Bay and Washington have never met in a winner-take-all contest and neither club has required a Game 7 this postseason.
* This marks the 33rd time in NHL history that a Game 7 will be required to determine a Stanley Cup finalist. Home teams own a 21-11 edge in the previous 32 such contests.
* This is the fourth consecutive year that the Eastern Conference Final has required a seventh and deciding game.
GAME 7 HISTORY: LIGHTNING
The Lightning hold a 5-2 record in Game 7s including a 3-0 mark on home ice. They will contest a Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Final for the third time in the past four years, having defeated the Rangers 2-0 in 2015 and lost to the Penguins 2-1 in 2016. In fact, the Lightning have required all seven games in each of their five appearances in the Conference Finals.
* Four Lightning players have tallied a game-winning goal in a Game 7: Coburn, Girardi, Kunitz and Alex Killorn.
* The Lightning won the franchise’s only championship with a 2-1 victory in Game 7 of the 2004 Stanley Cup Final against the Flames. In that contest, Ruslan Fedotenko – who tied for the team lead with 12 goals that postseason – scored both goals and captain Dave Andreychuk, now Tampa Bay’s Vice President of Corporate and Community Affairs, was the first to hoist the Stanley Cup.
GAME 7 HISTORY: CAPITALS
The Capitals hold a 4-11 record in Game 7s including a 1-3 mark on the road. Washington will play in its 11th Game 7 since the beginning of the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the most among all teams in that span.
* The Capitals roster has a combined 67 games of Game 7 experience with Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin set to make their 11th career appearance, one shy of Boston’s Zdeno Chara (12) for the most among active NHL players. Patrick Roy and Scott Stevens (13 apiece) have the most Game 7 appearances in NHL history.
* Ovechkin and Backstrom have played each of their 10 prior Game 7s together, the most Game 7 appearances as teammates in NHL history.
* Washington’s Evgeny Kuznetsov, who enters the contest on a nine-game point streak (6-8—14), tallied the game-winner in the Capitals' most recent Game 7 victory, a 2-1 decision over the Islanders in the 2015 First Round.
GAME 7 TRENDS
Of the 171 all-time Game 7s in the Stanley Cup Playoffs:
* The team that scores first is 127-44 (.743), including a 1-1 mark in 2018.
* Home teams own a 100-71 (.585) advantage, including a 1-1 record in 2018.
* Forty-one have required overtime (24.2%). Home teams have a 21-20 edge.
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