For years we have expected to see the Capitals in this position, yet they have never been able to get over that second round hoodoo.
Tampa reached the final of the Stanley Cup in 2015 but lost in six games to the Chicago Blackhawks.
Tonight we are all in for a treat and here are the reasons why:
Can Ovechkin steer his team to the finals?
The only thing Ovechkin is missing from his hall of fame career is a Stanley Cup. As hockey fans, it seems that one reason to support the Capitals is to give Ovechkin the chance of playing in the cup final.
His performances in the Stanley Cup so far have been phenomenal as he has netted 11 goals and ten assists. The leadership he brings to the team is obvious, and he seems hell-bent on reaching the cup final.
Ovechkin and the Capitals will know this will be their best opportunity of winning the cup as they will face off against Vegas in the finals – a side no-one predicted would even make the playoffs.
For hockey fans, it feels like Ovechkin has earned at least a Stanley Cup final berth – could he get there tonight?
Lightning fulfilling potential
Most people had Tampa and Nashville atop their preseason favourites to win the Stanley Cup.
Nashville fell to Winnipeg in round two, but the Lightning have progressed past New Jersey and Boston to get to this stage.
With arguably the deepest lineup in the NHL, Tampa know anything short of a cup final is a failure – tonight they can fulfill their potential.
Who will win?
Honestly, it is hard to separate these sides. In games one and two Washington looked very comfortable and never really looked under threat.
Games three, four and five were different stories as Tampa ground out key results. And game six ended with Washington comfortable 3-0 winners.
Tonight will no doubt be far tighter. The logical pick would be Tampa as they look to have a deeper roster. But Washington seems to have a determination that they have lacked in previous years.
For tonight, my prediction is carnage and entertainment. By the end of it all, it will be Ovechkin and co heading to Las Vegas for a Stanley Cup final no-one would have predicted back in October.
Strap yourself in – this will be a rollercoaster of an evening!
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