Tampa Bay goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy, who had appeared rattled at times in the games on his home ice, made 36 saves Tuesday. "There's no secret. We've dug ourselves a hole here, but by no means is it something that we can't overcome".
Lightning head coach Jon Cooper has noted his team's lack of ability to make plays. It wasn't technically a must-win, but another loss and you could pretty much kiss the series goodbye.
Game four of the best of seven series is Thursday night in Washington. "We knew we needed a desperate game from our group today and we got it". The three All-Star skaters combined for 7 points (3 goals, four assists) during the 3-goal blitz, which took just 9:44, while Vasilevskiy posted a.947 save percentage including several big saves while the game was still close to prevent the Capitals from gaining any momentum. It was a clutch performance. They lead the Capitals 4-1, which is a much more favorable position to be in than the Bolts' time in Game 2.
"Today was one of those games you feed pucks to Kuch and Stammer, pucks are going to go in", Hedman said. "We've made it a series".
The Tampa Bay Lightning stunk up its own building the first two games of the Eastern Conference final, losing both games to the Washington Capitals.
The Caps have jumped out to a 2-0 series lead after a 6-2 victory on Sunday in Tampa.
The Lightning power play was the only thing working for them in the first two games of the series.
"Nobody said it was going to be easy", said Ovechkin. "I embrace when there's more on the line and the stakes are higher". "We've got to go out there and win games on the road, and we've done that in the playoffs and we've got to do it again". Hedman had the primary assist on power-play goals by Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov and was a key part of three big penalty kills for Tampa Bay.
For the series, Tampa Bay is 5-12 with the man advantage.
It was Stamkos' sixth goal of the playoffs and his third power play goal of the Eastern Conference final.
There's an argument that they could have given him the night off on Tuesday to promote further healing with the team holding a healthy 2-0 lead series lead.
"That is when you need your best players to step up", Stralman said.
After Kucherov's power-play tally at 1:50, Hedman was left alone on the right side and sent a sizzling shot past Holtby to stretch the lead to 3-0 at 3:37. The cameras dispersed. He turned and walked toward the dressing room, leaving only one matter unsettled: Whose goal was nicer, Kucherov's or his? Vasilevskiy went into the game 3-1 on the road in the playoffs, however, after leading the National Hockey League with 18 road wins in the regular season.