Victor Hedman: Comes up big in Game 3 win

Lightning desperate to fix problems down 0-2 to Capitals

Road teams that have taken a 2-0 series lead in the National Hockey League conference finals have an 18-1 series record.

Tuesday at Capital One Arena, the Tampa Bay Lightning respond after dropping the first two games of the Eastern Conference Final on home ice.

In Game 3 against Washington, they led the way again. 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.

The power plays have canceled out with each team going 3-for-7, so the difference is at 5-on-5, when the Capitals have outscored the Lightning 7-1.

In the lead and in charge, the Lightning took control of the game with two goals in the first four minutes of the second period. "We believe in ourselves and in this group", Tampa Bay's Victor Hedman told the team's website. The game was a return to form for the Lightning defense, which had been stout before the Capitals series.

Capitals coach Barry Trotz said the Lightning's power-play goals did not necessarily loosen them up to improve on their even-strength chances, but the constant penalties interfered with what Washington wanted to do.

"I'm put in a position to produce, and I put that pressure on myself to do it", said Hedman, who has a goal and 10 assists during an eight-game point streak.

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The Capitals' power play and penalty kill both have thrived during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"We had to check tonight, and it helped it go in our favor".

"It was more kind of like an anger of like we want to get back - like let's get Game 3 going here", Tampa Bay's coach said. "They scored, we didn't and that's on us", Kuznetsov said.

Throughout the regular season, the Lightning had the best record in the Eastern Conference. "Obviously, you can see we didn't score, they scored".

"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. I don't know who you're grouping in the top players, but you think of Kucherov and Stamkos, those guys leading the charge, when we've needed them in the big games ... those guys have delivered when we've needed them.

Did the Lightning feel they owed their goalie one, after hanging him out to dry for 10 goals in the first two games? "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". During last year's playoff series between the Capitals and Toronto Maple Leafs, many fans were forced to leave Game 2 when it was tied 3-3 in overtime because metro service was ending soon. But Washington's power play could not connect on its opportunities the way that Tampa Bay had.

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