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.
Tampa Bay won for the first time in the series and will try to pull even in Game 4, which is set for Thursday night in Washington.
It was the first home game for the Capitals in a conference final in 20 years, but it didn't go well for Washington.
Tampa Bay goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy, who had appeared rattled at times in the games on his home ice, made 36 saves. The Capitals had only six shots in the third period until the waning minutes, and Vasilevskiy stopped all except one of 13 by period's end.
Washington goalie Braden Holtby stopped 19 shots. He was pulled with more than three minutes remaining as the Capitals were desperate to create more offense. It paid off with Kuznetsov's goal with 3:02 to play
In the first two games, Washington scored goals in the waning seconds of a period in each game. This time, the Lightning prevented the momentum swings.
After Tampa Bay scored the game's first three goals, Connolly tallied for the Capitals midway through the second period.
Then, trailing 4-1 in the third period, Washington was denied on a power play that seemed to douse its hopes.
Stamkos opened the scoring with 6:07 remaining in the first period. He took a feed from Hedman, converting for his 10th career postseason power-play goal -- a franchise record.
Washington registered 14 first-period shots without scoring.
Kucherov and Hedman scored within a two-minute span early in the second period.
Hedman was left alone on the right side and sent a sizzling shot past Holtby to stretch the lead to 3-0.
Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom remained out of the lineup despite going through the morning skate. He has yet to play this series with a hand injury suffered in the previous round.
--Field Level Media