TAMPA http://www.officialwild.com/authentic-adidas-matt-dumba-jersey , Fla. (AP) Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin is closer than ever to playing for the Stanley Cup, and he’s determined to make the most of the opportunity.”I’ve never been in this position before,” he said Tuesday, looking ahead to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final against the Tampa Bay Lightning.The winner Wednesday night earns a berth in the Stanley Cup Final opposite the Vegas Golden Knights, who will try for hockey’s biggest prize in their inaugural season.Ovechkin and the Caps are hoping to shed a label as playoff underachievers, a franchise that dazzles during the regular season only to disappoint at the most important time of the year.”I’m excited. We’re all excited. … We all want to be in this position and move forward,” said Ovechkin, who is playing in the conference final for the first time during his prolific 13-year career.”(Wednesday night) is probably biggest game in my life, this team, organization probably. … We still haven’t reached our goal. Tomorrow is going to be a huge step forward.”Not if the Lightning have their way.Tampa Bay is playing Game 7 in the conference final for the third time in four years. It beat the New York Rangers on the road to advance to the 2015 Cup Final, but fell short the following year against the Pittsburgh Penguins.”Experience is always a good thing, but it’s nothing I’m going to sit and lean on,” said Tampa Bay defenseman Anton Stralman Mikael Granlund Jersey , who is 7-1 in Game 7s during his career. ”It’s about doing your job at the highest level you possibly can.”Washington forced Wednesday’s winner-take-all matchup with a dominating 3-0 victory in Game 6.In a series where home ice has not been a clear advantage, the Lightning are hoping it provides an edge in Game 7.Washington won Games 1 and 2 in Tampa, then dropped the next two at home. The Capitals are 7-2 on the road this postseason.”When you get this deep into a series, everyone knows each other by heart. Now it really comes down to a little bit of will. You have to will yourself for this moment,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said.”I do like the fact there will be 19,000 people helping us, to will us to victory. I want the guys to enjoy the game. It will be a phenomenal experience. … You just have to remember, don’t let the game get bigger than it really is. Go out there, execute, leave everything out there and we’ll see what happens.”This will be Washington’s 11th Game 7 since the start of the 2008 playoffs, most among all NHL teams in that span. None of them, however, have been for a trip to the Stanley Cup Final.Capitals coach Barry Trotz said after Monday night’s win in Washington that there’s no other team he has coached that he would rather lead into a seventh game.”We just keep taking whatever challenge is thrown at us and build off it. This group doesn’t waver. It has a spirit about it Youth Mikko Koivu Jersey , a strong spirit,” he said.”This team has done a lot of special things this year, it’s grown, it continues to do that,” Trotz added. ”What an opportunity going into Tampa. … We’ll see if we can earn the right to keep playing.”And while that undoubtedly would be a major breakthrough for Ovechkin, Trotz reiterated the Capitals all have a lot invested.”The opportunity is not only for Alex, but for everybody,” he said. ”Everybody that gets a chance to be in a Game 7, which will allow you to go to the finals. It’s exciting, it’s fun.”— NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Pekka Rinne has a suggestion for how Nashville could handle his future contracts after the veteran goaltender celebrated his second extension with yet another shutout.On his birthday no less.“I should just sign one-year deals,” he said with a smile.Rinne celebrated his 36th birthday and the two-year extension Saturday night by shutting out the Boston Bruins in the Predators’ 1-0 victory.He stopped 26 shots for his second shutout this season and No. 53 of his standout career. The Predators announced before the game they had signed the Vezina Trophy winner to an extension worth $10 million that runs through the 2020-21 season, and Rinne went out and earned his 316th victory.It’s the second time Rinne has notched a shutout on his birthday after signing a contract extension. He made 35 saves in a 3-0 win at Arizona on Nov. 3 Ryan Suter Jersey , 2011, after signing a seven-year, $49 million deal.Being at home, fans sang “Happy Birthday” to him in the third period.“It’s been awesome, awesome day. Huge win,” Rinne said. “Just very happy. So proud that I can stay with this organization that gave me a chance a long time ago, and you know still have that opportunity to chase my dream. So very fortunate.”Roman Josi scored for Nashville, which won its third straight to stay atop the league standings. Nashville’s captain called Rinne’s deal amazing.“He’s such a big part of this locker room, and he’s our leader,” Josi said. “I mean he’s been here for so long he’s such a great guy and obviously best goaltender in the league. To keep a guy like him around, it’s awesome for us.”Rinne improved to 3-1-1 on his birthday in his career.“He has been and continues to be the backbone of this organization and this team, probably the guy who’s had the biggest impact on this organization,” coach Peter Laviolette said. “He’s really happy. We’re really happy. It’s a good day for us.”Boston lost for the second time in three games after managing only six shots in the third period. Rinne stopped Brad Marchand’s wrister with 44 seconds left. Boston coach Bruce Cassidy took his timeout with 12 seconds left Evgeny Svechnikov Jersey Womens , but the Bruins didn’t get another shot off until the final horn sounded.Jaroslav Halak made 39 saves in his fifth start in seven games for Boston. The Bruins went 0 for 4 with the man advantage.“Clearly, you can see if our power play and our top line don’t score, we have a tough time,” Cassidy said. “Our goaltender kept us in the game.”Nashville was even worse, shut out on five power plays. That included a double-minor on Marchand at the end of the first period for high-sticking and unsportsmanlike conduct.“Well, I mean he bit on an embellishment, and that’s a tough penalty to call with a second left in the period in a game like that,” Marchand said. “So yeah it was frustrating.”Josi posted his 300th career point. He got the puck near the blue line and then skated up the right side before cutting back across the ice, beating Halak with a wrister at 14:49 of the first period.NOTES: A native of Kempele, Finland, Rinne is 28th in NHL history with 316 wins and just four shy of passing Miikka Kiprusoff for most by a Finnish-born goalie. His 53 shutouts rank 23rd in NHL history, one behind Bernie Parent and Ed Giacomin for 21st. Rinne is one of seven goalies with three 40-win seasons and one of 18 with at least 300 wins and 50 shutouts. … Nashville improved to 9-1-0 when leading after two periods this season. … Josi already had a season-high seven shots on goal through two periods and finished by tying the franchise record for shots by a defenseman with 10. … Bruins defenseman Torey Krug played his 400th NHL game. … Boston RW David Backs played his first game since being hurt Oct. 18.UP NEXTBruins: Host Dallas on Monday night to start a four-game homestand.Predators: Start a five-game road swing at Colorado on Wednesday night.