TAMPA Cheap Isaiah Oliver Jersey , Fla. — The Washington Capitals know they have a lot of work to do.
The Tampa Bay Lightning know their work is far from done.
Both teams expect to be at their best on Monday for Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals at Capital One Arena with Tampa Bay holding a 3-2 series advantage and the chance to advance to the Stanley Cup Final.
The Capitals, a franchise haunted by the failures of postseasons past, are staring down another one heading in to their first elimination of this playoffs.
After finally pushing past the Pittsburgh Penguins and advancing past the second round for the first time in 20 years — and the first time in the Alex Ovechkin era — Washington kept rolling right on in to the conference finals, winning the first two games on the road.
But since grabbing that 2-0 series lead, the Capitals have dropped the past three games and are once again facing questions about seeing a big series lead dissipate into disappointment.
In the conference era, which dates back to 1974-75, only two teams in 41 occasions have won the first two games of a conference final or league semifinal and failed to win the series: the Montreal Canadiens in 1984 and Boston Bruins in 1991.
“It’s OK,” Washington captain Alex Ovechkin said. “We’re going to play better in Game 6 and we have (to) bounce back and come here and play a Game 7 and that’s it.”
The Capitals are leaning on some of the adversity they have faced this season, including being down 0-2 themselves in the opening round after dropping consecutive home games to open the series against Columbus.
“We kind of had our backs against the wall a couple times this year in this playoffs. We can draw from those experiences,” defenseman John Carlson said. “Just got to go out there and play hockey. That’s what we do. Just all about upstairs and what you can control. I think if you stay in the moment like we have, we got a pretty good chance of winning.
“I think these guys are a very capable group that is very capable of winning the next game. That’s all we’re worried about.”
History is not on Washington’s side, however.
When a series is tied 2-2 in a best-of-seven format Steve Cishek Jersey , the team which won Game 5 has an all-time series record of 215-55, a 79.6 winning percentage.
But the Lightning are well aware that a 3-2 series lead means the next victory is going to be the hardest to earn.
Twice in the previous three years Tampa Bay has been in this same position in the conference finals. In 2015, they held a 3-2 lead against the New York Rangers heading back home but lost Game 6 before winning in seven games. In 2016, the Lightning were up 3-2 on the Pittsburgh Penguins in the conference finals and lost Game 6 at home and eventually the series in seven games.
Now, they are back in the same situation in 2018, but instead are heading on the road with the chance to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals for the third time in franchise history.
“We have a lot of unfinished business,” Lightning forward Ryan Callahan said. “This isn’t even close to being over. This last game’s definitely the hardest, against a very, very good Washington team and to go in their building and try to close them out it’s going to be tough.”
Tampa Bay has been a strong road team in these playoffs, posting a 5-1 record away from home with four consecutive road victories. The Lightning have also never lost a playoff game in Washington in three all-time postseason meetings, which also includes 2003 and 2011, with a 7-0 record.
Yet Harrison Phillips Color Rush Jersey , all that matters is what Tampa Bay can put forth on Monday.
“We’re going to have to match their urgency,” Lightning head coach Jon Cooper said. “The closeout games, potential closeout games, they just seem to bring out the best in everybody. For us, we’ve had some success when we’ve gotten the lead. When you do that, you put a little pressure on the other team. Something we’ll try and focus on (Monday) night.”
The Latest on the San Antonio Spurs and coach Gregg Popovich, whose wife died at 67 (all times local):
The San Antonio Spurs have lost to the Golden State Warriors, 110-97 in Game 3 of their best-of-seven NBA playoff series.
San Antonio played without coach Gregg Popovich, who was at home mourning the death of his 67-year-old wife, Erin. She died on Wednesday.
Winning one for Pop was too difficult for the Spurs, who trailed by 12 entering the fourth quarter. They briefly narrowed the gap to single digits early in the quarter, but the Warriors quickly regained control.
Golden State leads the series 3-0 Lorenzo Cain Jersey , placing the Spurs at the brink of elimination.
Winning one for Pop will be an uphill climb for the San Antonio Spurs.
They trail Golden State 84-72 heading to the fourth quarter.
San Antonio is playing without coach Gregg Popovich, whose wife Erin died Wednesday.
A win by Golden State will give the Warriors a 3-0 lead and place the Spurs at the brink of elimination in the best-of-seven NBA playoff series.
The Golden State Warriors lead the San Antonio Spurs 52-46 at halftime behind 17 points from Kevin Durant.
The Spurs are playing without coach Gregg Popovich, whose wife Erin died Wednesday.
The team did not air a video tribute or hold a moment of silence for Erin Popovich in an apparent attempt to make the game as routine as possible for its players, but that was impossible.
The Spurs had an emotional start as the sold-out crowd at AT&T Center attempted to invigorate the home team with some of the most deafening cheers of the season.
Already on the edge of their seats for the first home game of the playoffs, the fans erupted when Rudy Gay threw down a one-handed dunk over Golden State’s JaVale McGee. The cheering was nearly constant as the Spurs scored the game’s first six points before the Warriors began to settle in.
The San Antonio Spurs trail Golden State 26-23 after the first quarter of Game 3 of their NBA playoff series.
The Spurs, who dropped the first two games, took the court with heavy hearts, mourning the death of coach Gregg Popovich’s wife, Erin. Popovich did not coach the game. Ettore Messina, a Spurs assistant since 2014, was on the bench in his place.
There was no moment of silence or tribute before the game.
Fans roared when the Spurs took the court and scored the first six points. One fan held up a sign that read ”Popovich Strong.”
San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker says he has always viewed coach Gregg Popovich and his wife, Erin Cheap Carlton Davis Jersey , as like his mom and dad.
Parker broke in to the NBA when he was 19. He says Erin Popovich’s death this week at the age of 67 is very emotional. He spent time with the family on Wednesday night.
The Spurs will be without Popovich for Thursday night’s Game 3 at home against Golden State. The Warriors won the first two games of the playoff series.
Parker says the Spurs will do their best to get a win for Popovich.
San Antonio Spurs veteran Manu Ginobili says when the time comes, the team will play – even as they mourn the loss of Erin Popovich, the wife of coach Gregg Popovich.
Ginobili says family is first, and it’s hard to prepare for Thursday night’s Game 3 against Golden State. Popovich will not be on the sideline with the team, which is down 0-2. Erin Popovich died this week at the age of 67.
Ginobili says the team is hurting and sad. He then walked away from reporters, fighting back tears.
San Antonio Spurs general manager R.C. Buford says the team is suffering from a profound loss.
Erin Popovich, the wife of coach Gregg Popovich, died this week at the age of 67. With his team down 0-2, Popovich is not coaching Game 3 on Thursday night at home against Golden State.
Buford says Erin and Gregg were best friends who were together for 40 years. He says her impact on the tightknit Spurs organization will be felt for years.
Buford also says Popovich has been overwhelmed by the support he’s seen from across the NBA
The San Antonio Spurs say Gregg Popovich will not coach the team at home Thursday night in Game 3 against Golden State following the death of his wife.
Ettore Messina, a Spurs assistant since 2014, will coach the team. San Antonio lost the first two games of the first-round playoff series on the road.
The Spurs announced Erin Popovich’s death Wednesday. She was 67.
Popovich has coached San Antonio since 1996, leading the Spurs to five NBA titles. He ran the Spurs’ practice Wednesday
The wife of San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has died. She was 67.
The Spurs confirmed Erin Popovich’s death Wednesday. The team didn’t provide further details.
”We mourn the loss of Erin Yasmani Grandal Jersey ,” Spurs general manager RC Buford said in a team statement. ”She was a strong, wonderful, kind, intelligent woman who provided love, support and humor to all of us.”
The couple has two children and two grandchildren. They met at the Air Force Academy in the 1970s when he was an assistant coach for the Falcons. Erin’s father, Jim Conboy, was Air Force’s head athletic trainer.
Gregg Popovich has coached San Antonio since 1996, leading the Spurs to five NBA titles. San Antonio will face Golden State on Thursday night in Game 3 of their first-round playoff series.
Popovich ran the Spurs’ .
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