Photo Courtesy: USA Today

Oshie Nets Two as Capitals Force Game 7

May 22, 2018 - 9:20 am

By Joe Schiller

With their backs against the wall on Monday night, the Washington Capitals assembled one of their best games of the 2018 postseason. They combined physicality and a swarming frontline attack to beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-0 in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Washington wanted to play a physical style of game and that’s exactly what they did. They dominated that department, totaling 39 hits to Tampa Bay’s 19. Brooks Orpik helped set the tone in the first period, getting into a scuffle with J.T. Miller. Both players earned five-minute major penalties.

The Caps struck first with five minutes left in the second period. After failing to earn a power play in Game 5, T.J. Oshie took full advantage of the extra man opportunity in Game 6. A pristine pass from Nicklas Backstrom led to a one-timer by Oshie into the back of the net.

Even a top netminder like Andrei Vasilevskiy stood no chance stopping the puck in the top shelf.

Oshie’s goal broke the deadlock but the Caps really needed one more to ease the home crowd. That’s exactly what they did with 9:58 left in the third period with a beautiful sequence that couldn’t have been drawn up any better.

A long clear out by Devante Smith-Pelly looked to be icing but was called off because of Chandler Stephenson’s hustle down the ice. That proved to the be the difference as he found a trailing Smith-Pelly in front of goal and the winger scored through the five-hole of Vasilevskiy to double the lead.

Oshie’s last-minute empty-net goal secured the bag as the Caps put together one of their most impressive postseason performances in quite some time.

Game 7 awaits, with the winner set to meet Vegas in the Stanley Cup Final. Braden Holtby and the Caps came up big when they needed it the most. They need to do that one more time in arguably the most important game in franchise history on Wednesday night.