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Lightning strike back, beat Capitals in Washington

16 May, 2018, 12:46 | Author: Rachael Silva
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Washington Capitals forward Nicklas Backstrom did not play in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference final against the Tampa Bay Lightning because of a hand injury. Tampa Bay scores three early goals to beat the Capitals, 4-2 and crawl back into the series.

Backstrom missed most of the third period in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Pittsburgh Penguins and was held out for Game 6 as the Capitals clinched the series. 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. Coach Barry Trotz said Backstrom was a game-time decision before each of the games in the conference final.

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.

"I can't wait to go home and play the game", Alex Ovechkin told the Washington Post after Game 2.

Now, Kucherov has not been the unsafe weapon he normally is ever since scoring five goals in the Lightning's five-game elimination of the New Jersey Devils in the opening round.

Brayden Point of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrates.

In the first two games, Washington scored goals in the waning seconds of a period in each contest.

Kucherov got his first of the series, scoring on a one-timer on the power play. Quite the difference from Game 2. Nikita Kucherov blasted the puck past Capitals goalie Braden Holtby at 1:50 of the second period, reversing a trend of poor starts from the previous two games.

To Cooper, the issue is that "for two games, we've dried up".

"They got some looks, but he was right there".

And Vasilevskiy looked much less worn out 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.

The Caps are 7-1 on the road in the playoffs and 3-4 at Capital One Arena.

Brett Connolly tried to get Washington back in the mix with a goal later in the period, but the momentum didn't last long. 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. It wouldn't have taken much to ignite the home crowd, get the players feeding off the frenzy and vice versa, and shoving the Lightning into a hole that would be almost impossible to climb out of.

"Power play make everything".

"They were so responsible defensively, making good puck decisions and through the first two rounds they didn't give up a whole lot", said Daneyko, now an NHL Network analyst.

"You have to make them play catchup, because when they do have the lead, they sit back, you have to go through four guys, they all can skate, they're all angling, they're all in lanes, and it just makes it tougher", Cooper said.



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