Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Sport | By Fredrick Flores

Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom sits out Game 3 with injured hand

Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom sits out Game 3 with injured hand

The score remains 4-1 in Tampa's favor with 3:41 left in the game. The Lightning needed an answer to the surging Caps.

The Capitals' power play and penalty kill both have thrived during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"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.

Then there was goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy. The Caps outshot Tampa 14-10 and Vasilevskiy was ideal. But after getting rolling Tuesday with the pair of power-play goals, the Lightning scored twice more at 5-on-5.

The Lightning rebounded to take a 2-1 lead in the first period of Game Two, but the Capitals responded with 5 unanswered goals to take a convincing 2-0 series lead.

Road teams that have taken a 2-0 series lead in the National Hockey League conference finals have an 18-1 series record. Sixteen seconds into the power play and 1:50 into the second period, Nikita Kucherov fired a one timer of his own past Holtby for a 2-0 lead.

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Washington did offer an answer. "For us to get two goals today and shut them down on the PK was big". It wasn't ideal, 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.

In Game 3, they led the way again. Eller took his third of the night when he cross-checked Steven Stamkos, but Stamkos was sent off at the same time for roughing Eller in a tussle after the play. With an extra attacker on, Evgeni Kuznetsov shot a puck from the left goal line extended.

Evgeny Kuznetsov cut the Bolts' lead in half late in the third on a dazzling snipe from a bad angle.

The road team has won every game in the series so far.

"I can't wait to go home and play the game", Alex Ovechkin told the Washington Post after Game 2. "You've got to check in this league". "We talked about this, you've got to make them chase the game". But ultimately it comes down to Game seven. "He's our best player. We're having more fun when we're winning, and we know we have to do the little things, we have to take care of the details". We didn't win the first two rounds by playing that way.

"In our book, it's still not ideal what we gave him tonight, but it was way better than Game one and two. But I thought our team actually helped him out this time". Vasilevskiy made some of his most impressive saves on the top Washington gunners. Since the puck is scheduled to drop at the Capital One Arena around 8 p.m. local time on both Tuesday and Thursday in DC, both games could have gotten awfully cozy with that 11:30 p.m. closing time.

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