The Tampa Bay Lightning wrap up their home season with tonight’s game against the Washington Capitals.
The season began in Prague, the Czech Republic, back in October, so full of hope – and now concludes tomorrow evening in Atlanta, after an unprecedented run of injuries that caused the Lightning to struggle virtually all season.
But before it’s over, Tampa Bay gets to meet the Washington Capitals for the sixth and final time this season, with Washington owning a 5-0-0 advantage. In fact, the Lightning’s last win against the Capitals came way back in November of 2007, when Tampa Bay prevailed, 5-2.
Still gunning for an important milestone, Steven Stamkos currently has 21 goals on the season, tied with Brad Richards for the most goals scored by a rookie in franchise history. Stamkos has only tonight’s game, and one more in Atlanta, to get the goal that breaks the tie and gives him sole possession of the record.
The Capitals (43-29-8) arrive in Tampa Bay having clinched the Southeast Division after producing 106 points on the season so far. They have featured a torrid offense, led by Alex Ovechkin, who leads the NHL with 55 goals and is second among all skaters with 108 points. Ovechkin has six goals and 13 points in five games this season against the Lightning. Center Nicklas Backstrom is also enjoying a stellar season, currently in fifth place in the NHL for assists with 63.
Defenseman Mike Greene continues his domination of all the defenders in the league with 70 points and 30 goals.
With as much fire-power as Washington musters each game, it is no wonder that they are in second place among all NHL teams in power play efficiency, converting on the man advantage at a 25.2 % clip.
Following the home ice finale tonight, Tampa Bay takes to the road one final time for a season-ending contest against the Atlanta Thrashers, in Atlanta, on Saturday night.