Our event of the day is Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Washington Capitals at the Amalie Arena in Tampa. The Lightning, winners of the Atlantic Division and the Eastern Conference regular season champions, have won the first two rounds of the playoffs convincingly – 4-1 against both the New Jersey Devils and the Boston Bruins. The Capitals, Metropolitan Division champions, overcame the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-2 and then the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Conference semi-finals, also 4-2 in the series. Tampa Bay are looking for their third Stanley Cup Final appearance after their 2003-04 victorious campaign and 2014-15, where they were losing finalists. They have been consistent, as this is their third Conference Finals in the last four seasons. Although they won the Presidents’ Trophy in the last two seasons, Washington have been crowned Conference champions only once – in 1998.
The Lightning have won two of their three meetings with the Capitals in the regular season, including a 4-3 overtime win in Tampa in October. They also outplayed Washington in both of their two previous playoff series, the last being a 4-0 clean sweep in the 2011 Conference semi-finals. The Capitals are the best scoring side of the playoffs with 43 goals or 3.58 per game. Washington left wing and captain Alex Ovechkin has collected 15 points so far (eight goals, seven assists), while teammate Evgeny Kuznetsov has 14 to his name (seven goals, seven assists). It should be a great start to a thrilling series between Tampa and Washington at the Amalie Arena.
Honourable mentions around the globe go to the opening day of the Ireland versus Pakistan Test match at the Village in Dublin. This is the Ireland team’s first Test since they were awarded Test status in June 2017. It’s also Day 1 of the County Championship Division One clash between Nottinghamshire and Lancashire at Trent Bridge. It’s Day 6 of the ATP and Day 7 of the WTA World Tour Mutua Madrid Open at the Madrid Caja Mágica. The 2018 Giro d’Italia continues with a 159km long stage from Pizzo to Praia a Mare. The European Challenge Cup final between Cardiff Blues and Gloucester takes place at the San Mamés Stadium in Bilbao. In the NRL, the Knights face the Panthers at the McDonald Jones Stadium in Newcastle. It’s Day 2 of both, the Rocco Forte Sicilian Open at the Verdura Golf and Spa resort in Sciacca; and The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach. In the MLB, the Chicago Cubs host their city rivals, the White Sox at Wrigley Field in Chicago.
Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!
Photos by NHL
***Ireland versus Pakistan test match is called off due to rain***
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