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.
Much of that was because of the Capitals, who gifted the Lightning two power play goals in an undisciplined game that was decided by special teams.
Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom was not in the lineup for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals, missing his fourth straight game with a right hand injury. As the Lightning rebounded from back-to-back home losses, Hedman, a Norris Trophy finalist as the N.H.L.'s top defenseman, was one of the most dominant players on the ice and extended his point streak to eight games in the 4-2 Lightning win 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.
Steve Stamkos' one-time blast from the left circle put the Lightning ahead at 13:53 of the first. And Brayden Point-whose even-strength goal late in the second period provided a backbreaking 4-1 lead-clubbing shots from the slot.
Brett Connolly tried to get Washington back in the mix with a goal later in the period, but the momentum didn't last long. The Lightning will look to tie the best-of-seven series on Thursday night in Washington. May. Capitals coach Barry Trotz said before Tuesday's game that Backstrom remains "day-to-day".
And Vasilevskiy looked much less tired than he did in the first two games, where he allowed 10 goals in five periods of play and never eclipsed a.850 save percentage.
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Their biggest early test came nine minutes in, when Anton Stralman boarded Tom Wilson - minutes after Wilson had delivered a big hit of his own in front of Vasilevskiy - and gave the Caps a power play.
The Tampa Bay Lightning aren't giving up without a fight. We rely on him a ton, he's a horse and most nights if he's going well, we're going well as a team.
Asked what the Lightning needed to do better, three-time Cup-winning defenseman Ken Daneyko responded, "Where do we begin?". "We weren't able to get some of our guys that don't really have a role in the power play or penalty kill to get a chance to use them again".
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. "If you can dominate the wall plays, you can usually have success and create odd-man rushes, and [we] do a good job of that".
Did the Lightning feel they owed their goalie one, after hanging him out to dry for 10 goals in the first two games? They scored four goals in Tampa.
This was how it should be for Tampa Bay.