Hedman, Lightning beat Caps to cut East final deficit to 2-1

Hedman, Lightning beat Caps to cut East final deficit to 2-1

Nikita Kucherov blasted the puck past Capitals goalie Braden Holtby at 1:50 of the second period, reversing a trend of poor starts from the previous two games. "I embrace when there's more on the line and the stakes are higher". With his 10th career power-play goal, Stamkos tied Martin St. Louis for Tampa Bay's playoff record. Lightning Head Coach Jon Cooper offered his perspective on home ice after the game: "Home ice advantage is Game Seven to me". The starting time for each Capitals home game was pushed back an hour to 8 PM, increasing the likelihood that the final horn would blow after Metro closed its doors at 11:30 PM.

Brayden Point and Steven Stamkos scored Game 2 goals - Vasilevskiy made 31 saves - for Tampa Bay, which lost two games in a row for the first time this postseason.

"When you're in a situation like we were, we needed to do it tonight". The Lightning Captain wired a puck through and gave Tampa a 1-0 lead 13:53 into the game.

Stamkos stepped up his game with a 60% CF%, Vasilevskiy was solid, and the Lightning checked enough of the boxes elsewhere to get themselves back into the series, defeating the Capitals 4-2 in Game 3.

"They came in here, they're desperate and they played that way", said Capitals coach Barry Trotz.

Leinster Looking For 4th European Title This Evening
"We looked at each other in the changing room after the Scarlets match and thought we could go to the next level". He was their goal kicker and their playmaker who got them going.

"Today was one of those games you feed pucks to Kuch and Stammer, pucks are going to go in", said Hedman. "They scored, we didn't and that's on us", Kuznetsov said. It wasn't flawless, but the Lightning began to make it up to Vasilevskiy for hanging him out to dry on so many odd-man rushes in Games 1 and 2 by improving their defensive-zone play. "It's just so much better to play with the lead". He's always there, he's always there for us and tonight we did a good job in front of him.

"We know (the Capitals) have a great power play, and they obviously played around in the first two games and got some big goals", Hedman said. "We can't describe how good he is out there".

Andrei Vasilevskiy played his best game of the series, saving 36 of 38 shots.

"I didn't think we were as focused as we have been normally on the road". But if you're looking for the long-shot payoff, it's also not necessarily a bad time to throw one in on the Lightning, as Tampa Bay still thoroughly outmatches the Caps in talent and has, you know, terrible D.C. hockey history on its side. The goal is to win a championship, but you can't look too far ahead.

"Our depth is a lot deeper than a lot of people gave us credit for, " forward T.J. Oshie said after the Caps' morning skate at their practice facility.

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