The Washington Capitals saw a familiar face make a familiar statement on Wednesday, as Andre Burakovsky played hero in a high-stakes showdown against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Just 1:23 minutes into overtime with the game tied 3-3, Burakovsky struck on a one-timer to lift Colorado past Tampa Bay in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. It marked Burakovsky’s second goal of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs and his third goal in his last two playoff games against the Bolts. Just four years ago, Burakovsky was in the spotlight in Tampa, as his two goals led the Capitals past the Lightning in Game 7 to send Washington to the 2018 SCF.
Beyond Burakovsky’s heroics, other Stanley Cup headlines are making their way around the league. Plus, the Capitals still have a lot to consider in net and with the draft around the corner.
Here’s a look at the latest news and notes from D.C. and across the NHL:
- Watch all the action unfold live from Ball Arena as former Washington winger Burakovsky’s OT winner puts Colorado up 1-0 over Tampa in the SCF. As Burakovsky said postgame: “It’s been dream since I was kid.”
- Speaking of young, promising players, one prospect that might stand out for the Capitals at the 2022 NHL Draft: Jiri Kulich.
- Meanwhile, the Florida Panthers are reportedly pushing hard for a Sergei Bobrovsky trade — could Bobrovsky appeal to the Capitals?
- Here’s a look back at Alex Ovechkin’s 2021-22 campaign, which marked one of the best showings of his career as he turned 36.
- Game 1 lived up to the hype, as the Avalanche and Lightning put on one of the best shows in the Stanley Cup Final opener.
- Looking at the Stanley Cup Final, will the series be decided by “elite” players? Rick Tocchet had some interesting thoughts.
- Where will former Washington coach Barry Trotz end up? Stefen Rosner takes a look at Trotz, his interview timeline and more following his shocking dismissal from the Islanders.
- And with Trotz reportedly turning down the job in Philly, the Flyers will reportedly announce the John Tortorella hiring soon.
Sammi’s Top Shelf Takes
- Valeri Nichushkin put on a show for the Avalanche in Game 1 and was arguably their best player on the ice, dishing a goal, assist and six shots through 19:04 minutes. If I were the Capitals, I’d look into his availability this offseason.
- That being said, I think Washington should also look into Darcy Kuemper as its goaltender. Solid, proven No. 1 with ability who can also win in the playoffs.
- Looking at the other end of the ice in this SCF, I’d expect Andrei Vasilevskiy to bounce back after a so-so Game 1. He is known for redemption performance and also has impressive stats after a loss. As Sportsnet pointed out, in the postseason so far, he is 1-3 with a .884 save percentage and 3.99 GAA in Game 1s. In Games 2-7, he is 11-3 with a .939 SV% and 1.90 GAA. So, don’t count out the Bolts yet. Take it game by game.
- And of course, happy birthday to former Capitals Alexandre Giroux, Tony White and Dainius Zubrus.