The final game of a best of seven serieswould take place in the NHL Eastern Conference Finals at the Tampa Bay Lightning home ice rink, the Amalie Arena. The Lightning and Washington Capitals had fought relentlessly against each other during the first six games, as they each clawed to try and win four game before the opponent. As game seven approached in Tampa Bay on the 23rd of May, each team knew that this would be the final game of the series that would determine everything.
The Tampa Bay Lightning roster took to the ice early on in game seven, but Washington would score early and force the Lightning to chase the game from behind on the scoreboard. Unfortunately, the home ice momentum could not bring the Lightning what they needed, as the Washington Capitals score three additional times to solidify their victory in the Eastern Conference finals.
As the final seconds ticked off the scoreboard in game seven, there was never a real chance for the Lightning to win this hockey game. The tenacity and urgency was never apparent during the entire series, but there were a lot of great things to appreciate during the regular season. After the game ended, the coaching staff mentioned how several players were fighting injuries, and that some would even require surgery during the off-season.
The Washington Capitals defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals to compete for the ultimate prize, the Stanley Cup. They will face the Las Vegas Golden Knights in a seven game finale series to decide who wins the cup.
For the Tampa Bay Lightning, they will look back at their season with few regrets, and ultimately a solid third place finish in the league. They were the dominant force during the regular season, and managed to piece together a very respective playoff run, however coming ever so short of reaching the finals. As for the organization, they are still among the favorites to win in the coming years, despite the ever-growing issue to sign expensive players to loaded contracts while managing a limited cap-space.