Statistically Speaking: Stars lift Lightning in must-win game

17 May, 2018, 07:09 | Author: Valerie Santiago
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Unlike the Game 1, when Tampa Bay pulled Vasilevskiy at the second intermission, or Game 2, when the net-minder was whistled for tripping and the subsequent power play led to a late second-period Capitals goal, Vasilevskiy found a rhythm early in Game 3.

Just as severe thunderstorms were moving through the nation's capital, a Lightning strike wiped out much of the goodwill Washington amassed in Tampa and ensured that this will be a competitive series after all.

The Washington Capitals saw their opportunity at a 3-0 series lead versus Tampa Bay go by the wayside in a 4-2 defeat on home ice Tuesday.

"For us, it's all about resetting everything", defenseman Victor Hedman said Monday. "Another big effort for him tonight, and you could see we all followed suit".

As they've done all series, the Lightning were deadly on the power play.

In the first two games, Washington scored goals in the waning seconds of a period in each contest. They are seeking their first appearance in the Stanley Cup Final since the 1997-98 season.

Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper didnt waver on his young goalies status — "Hes our guy", Cooper said before Tuesday nights game at Capital One Arena — and Vasilevskiy delivered on his coachs confidence.

The Lightning had used the same lines throughout the playoffs and for a large portion of the regular season, particularly down the stretch.

Barry Trotz after Game 3. "All of a sudden, you're seeing outnumbered situations", said Daneyko, now an NHL Network analyst.

Tampa Bay got two injury scares in the third period when Stamkos hobbled off after taking a slap shot from teammate Braydon Coburn in the right knee and Tyler Johnson was cross-checked by Michal Kempny. "Oftentimes that's what those guys do - they come in when you need them". "We're happy about getting ourselves back in the series, but definitely not satisfied".

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Washington goalie Braden Holtby stopped 19 shots.

The Capitals strike back with 9:29 left in the 2nd.

"We're off to a heck of a start, but we've got to take care of business at home", defenseman Matt Niskanen said. This time, the Lightning prevented the momentum swings.

Sure, the Lightning had a brief lead in Game 2 from about the midpoint of the first period to early in the second.

"Nobody said it was going to be easy", said Ovechkin. "He's being challenged to look through traffic and stay up".

Both teams entered the game red-hot on the power play, and the Lightning's risky extra-man unit continued its terrorizing ways. The Washington penalty killed has been burned all series. Cooper sounded confident of a turnaround.

"We've thought about different things, but for me and our staff, we don't feel it's a personnel issue with how things are going", Cooper said. They needed to do more 5-on-5 if they were going to get back in this series. This is a tough one.

With the Capitals lead down to one game the two teams will regroup and do it again on Thursday night for a pivotal game. But we're not done.

As sharp as they looked in Tampa, the Capitals were inexplicably sloppy in Game 3.

Steven Stamkos said the Lightning reclaimed it in Game 3.

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