Washington Capitals: Breaking down the toughest opponents in 2019

TAMPA, FL - MARCH 30: Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals celebrates his 50th goal of the season with teammates and against goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy #88 of the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena on March 30, 2019 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)
TAMPA, FL - MARCH 30: Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals celebrates his 50th goal of the season with teammates and against goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy #88 of the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena on March 30, 2019 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
5 of 6
Next

Tampa Bay Lightning

TAMPA BAY, FL – MAY 23:Washington Capitals right wing Tom Wilson (43) punches Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Braydon Coburn (55) during the first period Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Washington Capitals and the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday, May 23, 2018. (Photo by Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
TAMPA BAY, FL – MAY 23:Washington Capitals right wing Tom Wilson (43) punches Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Braydon Coburn (55) during the first period Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Washington Capitals and the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday, May 23, 2018. (Photo by Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post via Getty Images) /

Washington sees them: Nov. 29, Dec. 14, 21

Every time the Washington Capitals and Tampa Bay Lightning go head-to-head, expect an offensive explosion. The Bolts are always a tough matchup for the Capitals from their fully-charged offense, to their young and talented goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy, who just got paid this summer making the market very interesting for Holtby.

washington capitals preview saturday
TAMPA, FL – MAY 23: Braden Holtby #70 of the Washington Capitals shakes hands with Andrei Vasilevskiy #88 of the Tampa Bay Lightning after Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena on May 23, 2018 in Tampa, Florida.. (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images) /

Vasilevskiy deserved his payday with a solid season leading the NHL with 39 wins. The ninth pick in the 2012 NHL Draft, Vasilevskiy went 39-10-4 last season with a 2.40 goals-against average and a .925 save percentage.

The Lightning boasted three 40-goal scorers last season with Steven Stamkos leading with 45 followed by Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point each with 41. Kucherov led the league with 128 points.

washington capitals
WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 20: T.J. Oshie #77 of the Washington Capitals celebrates after scoring a second period goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Capital One Arena on March 20, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images) /

The Lightning were the best team on the power play with a 28.2% success rate on the man advantage. Point led the Bolts with 20 PPGs with Stamkos right behind him with 19 and Kucherov with 15.

The Capitals went 1-1-1 against the Lightning last season and each team met in a thrilling seven-game series in the Eastern Conference Final a year prior. Washington dropped the first two games, the second being an overtime thriller at Capital One Arena before winning the finale. The Lightning are a tough opponent but a fun matchup nonetheless.