Our event of the day is the NHL Playoffs Eastern Conference Final matchup between the Washington Capitals and the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C. This will be the third matchup of this series, the previous two games were dominated by the Capitals who won both on the road in Tampa by scores of 4-2 and 6-2. If Tampa Bay wants to get back into this series, stealing this game on the road is an essential first step. As in the past coming back from a 3-0 deficit is almost impossible with only 4 teams achieving this feat in the history of the NHL. The keys to the Lightning getting back to their previous form in which they won the first and second rounds series decisively in 5 is controlling turnovers and Andrei Vasilevskiy returning to his previous standards in goal.
This series has been tough for the young keeper, already giving up more than 3 goals twice this series, something he only did once in the previous two series. His defence of course needs to help out as well but a .839 save percentage needs to be improved. For the Capitals to maintain their momentum they must continue to play through their superstar captain Alex Ovechkin and Russian center, Evgeny Kuznetsov, who both are tied for fourth in the playoffs with 19 points. They leapt out to large leads in the first two road game by being aggressive and forcing Lightning mistakes from which to capitalize on. If the Capitals play with this same energy and the Lightning continue their sloppy play this series might be as good as over but expect the Lightning to fight back. We should see a rejuvenated Lightning squad and a great game of hard hitting, playoff hockey tonight.
Honourable mentions around the globe go to the second leg of the EFL Championship Playoff Semi-Final matchup between Aston Villa and Middlesbrough at Villa Park. The first leg of this promotion playoff was played at Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium but ended with a 1-0 Aston Villa win with the only goal being a Mile Jedinak 15th minute header. This second leg should be just as closely matched as both teams fight to return to the Premier League after being relegated in 2016 (Aston Villa) and 2017 (Middlesbrough). Elsewhere around the world of sports the Kolkata Knight Riders face off against the Rajasthan Royals in the 49th IPL match of the season at Eden Gardens in Kolkata, and the Pakistan Tour continues with day 5 of the test match between Ireland and Pakistan at The Village in Dublin. On top of these global cricket events the main U.S. sports events for today include the NBA Eastern Conference Final’s game two between the Boston Celtics and the Cleveland Cavaliers at TD Garden, and a MLB regular season game between two likely playoff teams, in the Washington Nationals and the New York Yankees at Nationals Park in D.C. The Giro d’Italia cycling stage 10 takes place between Penne and Gualdo Tadino, and the WTA and ATP Internazionali BNL d’Italia continues at Foro Italico.
Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!
Photos by NHL
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