To be honest, no one was really even talking about it. Nikita Kucherov in most got enough time to strike a sighting shot in the upper left corner of the goal, "Washington", and two minutes later Victor Hedman to the two assists he added in his debut playoff goal, sending the puck into the nearly unguarded net after a pass Kucherov.
If you want to know why Stamkos chose to re-sign with Tampa Bay and not jump to Toronto two years ago - aside from Florida's tax situation and the fact that he can wear shorts to the rink in January - this was it.
Backstrom's injury had to be serious enough to keep him out of four games thus far, but he is now holding his stick and participating in hockey drills.
"We've had a little stretch here where, just like the playoffs, you're going to have some ebbs and flows", Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. The team's had to kill penalties 8.8 minutes per game over their last five outings. "I like the way we responded tonight", Hedman said. "It's by no means easy to win in this league, but when you have a team like we've assembled over the years, you want to be part of that and you want to be on a team that has a chance to do well in the playoffs". That expectation grew at the trade deadline when the team acquired Miller and defenceman Ryan McDonagh at the trade deadline. We were just off a little bit, and you can't be off in this game to have success. Obviously our start in the second was how we set the tone.
On Tuesday night, the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Washington Capitals by a final score of 4-2 in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final.
Did the Lightning feel they owed their goalie one, after hanging him out to dry for 10 goals in the first two games? His three goals and five points are the most on the team.
Stamkos, who leads the playoffs with five power-play goals and 11 power-play points, has scored a power-play goal in each of the three games against Washington, each on a one-timer from the left circle. He didn't pick up a point in Tampa Bay's 4-2 win over Washington, but the combination seemed to work and Point scored in the victory. May. Each of Stamkos' power-play goals in the first two games came off a pass from Kucherov that went through the middle of Washington's penalty-killing diamond. "When you need a big play, a big performance, he's usually one of the guys that will step up".
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But as the year wore on and the Lightning qualified for the playoffs with nearly a month remaining in the season, Stamkos' production began to fade. 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. Vasilevskiy was on his game, but so was the team in front of him.
Evgeny Kuznetsov scored the final goal of the game with 3:02 remaining.
The Lightning' offense attempted 32.4 shots per game in the regular season, resulting in 3.6 goals per contest (ranked first overall in the NHL). "You've got to make them chase the game", Cooper said.
Vasilevskiy was on top of his game as the Capitals put 38 shots on net. "That says a lot right there".
Nine of Tampa Bay's last ten games have been decided by two goals or more. The Lightning captain has built a career on his ability to slap a moving puck.
Which power-play blast did Cooper like better? He hovered between the circles toward the Capitals' goal before receiving a feed from Kucherov. It was the way we played.