Lightning avenge home losses with Game 3 win at Washington

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Lightning lead Capitals 4-1 in 3rd

It was also one of the few times in this series that the Lightning weren't chasing the game, something that the Capitals had exploited in Games 1 and 2. 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.

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.

The Capitals have a 2-1 advantage in the series after losing to Tampa 4-2 at home on Tuesday night. And ill-timed penalties late in periods have led directly to Capitals power-play goals, which definitely can't continue happening if the Lightning want to make this a series. Capitals goalie Braden Holtby had no chance.

Kucherov got his first of the series, scoring on a one-timer on the power play.

Truthfully, Vasilevskiy didn't have to perform magic very often, but for 2 1/2 periods, he stopped everything, and it was 3-0 and looking very lopsided before the Caps finally beat him.

Eller and Evgeny Kuznetsov had a goal and two assists in Game 2, and Ovechkin and Tom Wilson each had a goal and an assist.

Game four of the best of seven series is Thursday night in Washington.

Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom remained out of the lineup despite going through the morning skate.

Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman, who made primary assists on both power-play goals and then scored his first goal of the playoffs, said he was "more satisfied" with his team's performance on the penalty kill than the power play. The cameras dispersed. He turned and walked toward the dressing room, leaving only one matter unsettled: Whose goal was nicer, Kucherov's or his?

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The Tampa Bay Lightning aren't giving up without a fight. "Now we are, so we'll see what type of team we are".

The Bolts get a power play.

"It's hard to cover all of them", Lightning defenseman Anton Stralman said.

The forecheck that helped Tampa Bay defeat the New Jersey Devils and Boston Bruins in the first two rounds has been a nonfactor against Washington. "Any time you look on the screen, there's five guys and that just means you're playing as a group of five, and you're playing connected and playing with real good structure and responsibility".

As Cooper had said of Games 1 and 2: "It's 2-on-1 after 2-on-1". "He's our best player". Brayden Point got the Lightning back ahead 4-1 into the second intermission on a goal assisted by Braydon Coburn and Tyler Johnson.

The Lightning and Capitals played three times during the regular season with the Lightning winning two of those contests. "Maybe they play a little different".

Vasilevskiy was roasted for 10 goals in the first two games in Tampa, although, again, Cooper put that more on the rest of the team.

This was how it should be for Tampa Bay.

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