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.
Victor Hedman scored a goal and provided two assists, and this time it was the Tampa Bay Lightning with some quick strikes in defeating the Washington Capitals 4-2 in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals Tuesday night at Capital One Arena in Washington.
Throughout the regular season, the Lightning had the best record in the Eastern Conference.
Washington left wing Alex Ovechkin is excited about his team's series lead but knows they still have a long way to go before clinching a spot in the Stanley Cup Finals. The goals also extended the Lightning's consecutive games with a power-play goal streak to eight.
Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom remained out of the lineup despite going through the morning skate.
They kept the attack going with first-minute goal in Game 2 on their way to a 6-2 victory. "We talked about this, you've got to make them chase the game".
Washington's defensive play has limited the Lightning to one even-strength goal in the first two games, and the Capitals have succeeded in generating odd-man rushes when they have the puck.
The home crowd didn't seem to be the reason Tuesday - the energy level was high from the beginning and fans turned their enthusiasm back up after a second-period goal, but ultimately a 3-goal deficit only provides so much to work with. Coach Barry Trotz said Backstrom was a game-time decision before each of the games in the conference final.
"It took a lot of flow out of our game", Trotz said. The Lightning power play is now 5 for 12 in the series.
Road teams that have taken a 2-0 series lead in the National Hockey League conference finals have an 18-1 series record. 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.
4 on 3 for the Bolts.
Meanwhile, the Capitals' vaunted power play, which features Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, T.J. Oshie, Lars Eller (in Backstrom's place) and John Carlson on the top half, failed to convert on one opportunity in every period. "For us to get two goals today and shut them down on the PK was big".
"We had to check tonight, and it helped it go in our favor". Washington beat the Lightning 4-2 in Game 1 and will look take a stranglehold on the series on Tuesday.
"Power play make everything". "We can't describe how good he is out there".
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