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Lightning avenge home losses with Game 3 win at Washington

16 May 2018

Much of that was because of the Capitals, who gifted the Lightning two power play goals in an undisciplined game that was decided by special teams.

The Capitals, who won the first two games in Tampa Bay by a combined 10-4, are 3-3 at home in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs; the Lightning are 3-1 on the road.

Tampa entered Tuesday night having dropped each of its first two games at home and facing long odds at making a comeback heading back to Washington.

The first came courtesy of Lightning captain Steven Stamkos in the first period, 35 feet deep according to the box score, stationed at his usual power play perch near the left dot. They also surrendered a 6-on-5 goal to Evgeny Kuznetsov with 3 minutes 2 seconds left that made things interesting in the final minutes.

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Victor Hedman scored his first goal of the playoffs less than two minutes later on what amounted to an empty net goal off a feed from Kucherov. Washington D Michal Kempny was fined $2,419 - the maximum allowed under the collective bargaining agreement - for cross-checking Lightning F Cedric Paquette during Game 2. Capitals coach Barry Trotz said before Tuesday's game that Backstrom remains "day-to-day".

Stamkos, Kucherov and Point each had a goal and an assist, Hedman had a goal and two assists, while Vasilevskiy, who stopped 36 of 38 shots, reminded everyone why he was named a Vezina Trophy finalist this season. The cameras dispersed. He turned and walked toward the dressing room, leaving only one matter unsettled: Whose goal was nicer, Kucherov's or his?

"When we're letting your goalie see pucks and eliminating those Grade-A (scoring chances), it's going to help", Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. They've been quick to break the puck out and get through the neutral zone to move into the offensive zone.

The Tampa Bay Lightning star winger somehow got away without any supplementary discipline from the league after kicking Brett Connolly late in Game 2 on Sunday. "I always like that, and I think that it brings out in the best in me, and now with Nick out I've just been playing more minutes".

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The Lightning had the third best power play during the regular season. "Maybe they play a little different". He says the ability and experience of Tampa's players still pose a serious threat to them. During last year's playoff series between the Capitals and Toronto Maple Leafs, many fans were forced to leave Game 2 when it was tied 3-3 in overtime because metro service was ending soon.

And another Lightning goal! "They didn't do what they did all year because of a fluke", Washington center Jay Beagle said. Now that Tampa Bay was in charge, you could feel the knot in the players' stomachs start to loosen.

This was how it should be for Tampa Bay.

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Lightning avenge home losses with Game 3 win at Washington