going into the playoffs

going into the playoffs

Postautor: chenyan94 » 9 sie 2018, o 08:51

TAMPA Quenton Nelson Color Rush Jersey , Fla. — The Washington Capitals beat the Tampa Bay Lightning at their own game to open the Eastern Conference final.

Now Tampa Bay has to find a way to rediscover itself in Sunday’s Game 2 to avoid falling into a hole that might be too deep to climb out of in the quest to return to the Stanley Cup Final for the second time in four seasons.

Washington, meanwhile, looked like a team in control despite participating in the Eastern Conference final for the first time in the Alex Ovechkin era. The Capitals set the tone in the opening game of the best-of-seven series, which they will look to continue Sunday while once again expecting to be withou center Nicklas Backstrom. He has missed the past two games and remains day to day with a hand injury.

“I just think it’s been a real good commitment, attention to detail,” Washington coach Barry Trotz said. “All of those things. Just a team-wide commitment. I think we’re playing the full 200 feet that you need to play at playoff time and you’re getting the goaltending you need and you’re getting the commitment and you’re getting the work ethic and you’re getting the discipline and detail.

“All of those things combined, you have a chance every night if you do that.”

The Capitals, who haven’t been to a conference final since winning the Eastern Conference title in 1998, held the Lightning to 10 shots on goal through the first two periods as they controlled the game while building a four-goal lead.

“I think we just realized we just have to play our way,” said Ovechkin Authentic Justus Annunen Jersey , who had a goal and an assist in Friday’s 4-2 victory. “It doesn’t matter which position we are, which round it is and you can see the effort in the guys. Everybody was all in and everybody was paying the price. … We tried to create a moment on our side and not give them life.”

The Capitals took the Lightning out of the game by not allowing Tampa Bay to utilize its speed on the forecheck, an area the Lightning were oftentimes dominant in the first two rounds against New Jersey and Boston. Instead, Washington slowed down the Tampa Bay attack through the neutral zone and when pucks got in deep the Capitals quickly transitioned the play up the ice.

“They turned pucks up quick, put pucks behind us and dictated the way the game was going to be played,” Lightning forward Chris Kunitz said. “That’s something that we had success doing to other teams. We have to raise our elevation of what we can do out there. But give them a lot of credit, they took Game 1 to us and we have to be better if we are going to be in the series.”

Tampa Bay has been in this situation before as recently as the last series, when it dropped Game 1 at home to Boston before winning four consecutive games to capture the series in five games. And since Jon Cooper has served as Lightning coach, Tampa Bay has dropped the first game of a series seven times in 11 tries. The Lightning went on to win four of those series, only losing the 2014 opening round series to Montreal and the 2015 Stanley Cup Final to Chicago.

In addition http://www.bengalsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-mark-walton-jersey , the Lightning have won five consecutive Game 2s when losing the opening game.

“There’s no situation that we probably haven’t been in in the last couple years,” Tampa Bay captain Steven Stamkos said. “This is one we’ve been in before, so we just need to play better. There’s really nothing that we’re going to throw at them that they’re going to be surprised about. We just have to play better and we’re looking forward to that challenge.”

A look at the NBA playoff picture, with three days remaining in the regular season:



EAST UPDATE

Philadelphia will open the playoffs at home for the first time since 2003, after clinching no worse than the No. 4 seed with its win over Dallas . The 76ers – now winners of 14 consecutive games – will finish No. 3 in the East if they close with wins over Atlanta and Milwaukee.

Indiana remained in the mix for a top-four seed as well with its win over Charlotte.

To reach No. 4, the Pacers will need to win their finale against Charlotte, and need Cleveland to lose both of its remaining games against New York. Otherwise, Indiana will be the No. 5 seed.

No. 1 seed Toronto beat Orlando in a game where the Raptors departed with some injury concerns – Lucas Nogueira strained a hamstring, and Fred Van Vleet left with what the team said was relatively minor back tightness. But the Raptors remained ahead of Golden State in the race for the NBA’s second-best record (and potentially home-court in the NBA Finals if Houston falls).



WEST UPDATE

Utah clinched its playoff spot with a win over the Los Angeles Lakers , and will finish with the No. 3 seed if it wins its final two games.

That means now it’s down to five teams – Oklahoma City http://www.giantsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-b.j.-hill-jersey , San Antonio, New Orleans, Minnesota and Denver – vying for the final four Western Conference spots.

And the only seeds that are locked up remain at the top, No. 1 Houston and No. 2 Golden State.

The Jazz haven’t played a Game 1 of any series at home since the West semifinals in 2007, and haven’t played Game 1 of the first round at home since 2001. And after losing Gordon Hayward last summer, plus starting this year 19-28, this postseason berth represents nothing but an amazing job by Jazz coach Quin Snyder.

Plenty of clarity in the West race should come on Monday. Oklahoma City, San Antonio and New Orleans can all clinch spots with victories, and Minnesota can also secure its first postseason spot since 2004 with a win and some help.



MONDAY’S GAMES

– Toronto at Detroit: The Raptors held DeMar DeRozan and Jonas Valanciunas out Sunday, and more resting of regulars is likely.

– Oklahoma City at Miami: There will be playoff intensity. Thunder trying to clinch their spot with a win Cordy Glenn Color Rush Jersey , Heat trying to hold No. 6.

– Cleveland at New York: Cavaliers finish No. 3 with two wins over New York and a 76ers loss; LeBron James is 19-8 all-time at MSG.

– Orlando at Milwaukee: Bucks may get to No. 6 in the East with a win and some help. Wednesday in Philly will be big for both teams.

– Memphis at Minnesota: Timberwolves can clinch a postseason berth with a win, a San Antonio win and a Portland win over Denver.

– Sacramento at San Antonio: Spurs clinch their 21st consecutive playoff spot with a victory, or a Memphis win, or a Portland win.

– Portland at Denver: Nuggets need at least one win in their final two games to have a chance, and the home finale might loom vital.

– New Orleans at L.A. Clippers: Doc Rivers says the eliminated Clippers will play it straight, knowing Pelicans clinch spot with a win.

– Chicago at Brooklyn: No playoff implications.



CURRENT BRACKET

First-round matchups if the season ended Sunday …

East: 1-Toronto vs. 8-Washington, 2-Boston vs. 7-Milwaukee, 3-Philadelphia vs. 6-Miami, 4-Cleveland vs. 5-Indiana.

West: 1-Houston vs. 8-Minnesota, 2-Golden State vs. 7-Oklahoma City http://www.coltsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-braden-smith-jersey , 3-Portland vs. 6-San Antonio, 4-Utah vs. 5-New Orleans.



NOTE OF THE DAY

Philadelphia has won 14 consecutive games. From March 27, 2015, through Dec. 6, 2016, the 76ers won 14 times in a span of 114 games.



QUOTE OF THE DAY

”Bench play is going to be huge for us going into the playoffs without a full roster.” – Boston coach Brad Stevens, on why he left four starters on the bench for the fourth quarter in the Celtics’ loss to Atlanta.

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