Lightning Grab Critical 4-2 Win in Game 3 over Alex Ovechkin, Capitals

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMay 16, 2018

Tampa Bay Lightning center Brayden Point, left, defenseman Victor Hedman (77), from Sweden, and right wing Nikita Kucherov (86), from Russia, celebrate Kucherov's goal during the second period of Game 3 of the NHL Eastern Conference finals hockey playoff series against the Washington Capitals, Tuesday, May 15, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Alex Brandon/Associated Press

The Tampa Bay Lightning aren't giving up without a fight.

Four different Lightning players scored, including three in the second period, as Tampa Bay earned a 4-2 win over the Washington Capitals in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference Final matchup. The Capitals lead 2-1 in the best-of-seven series.

Tampa entered Tuesday night having dropped each of its first two games at home and facing long odds at making a comeback heading back to Washington. Steven Stamkos scored the game's first goal at the 13:53 mark of the first period on a power play, and the Lightning never looked back.

Nikita Kucherov took advantage of another power play early in the second period, and Victor Hedman added his first goal of the postseason less than two minutes later to put the Lightning up 3-0.

Brett Connolly tried to get Washington back in the mix with a goal later in the period, but the momentum didn't last long. Brayden Point got the Lightning back ahead 4-1 into the second intermission on a goal assisted by Braydon Coburn and Tyler Johnson.

Hedman added two assists to his goal.

Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 36 of the 38 shots that went his way in by far his best performance of the series. Vasilevskiy had given up 10 goals over the first two games and was pulled in the second intermission of Game 1's loss.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Braden Holtby stopped just 19 of the 23 shots he faced in goal. Holtby had given up just four goals on his first 56 shots he faced in the first two games.

Washington put together an all-around sloppy effort, being called for six penalties. Center Lars Eller was responsible for half of those calls.

Alex Ovechkin was held without a goal despite taking nine shots on goal. Evgeny Kuznetsov scored a garbage-time goal in the third period but was successful just the once on his 12 attempts.

The two sides reconvene Thursday night in the nation's capital.

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