Capitals have home-ice disadvantage for Game 4 vs. Lightning
17 May, 2018, 07:10 | Author: Sheri Evans
The Lightning's backbreaker goals were in the second period, especially the two in the first 3:37, but the long stretch where they kept Washington scoreless set the tone.
The Lightning were the presumptive top seed in the Eastern Conference since they came out the gates flying in the opening month of the season, but looked like anything but favorites in dropping the opening two games of the series. They energized a Lightning team that had been walloped in Games 1-2 at home before flying north to savage this series and their season-and succeeded.
"We always feel like we owe him", defenseman Anton Stralman said. Most nights, if he's' going well, we're going well as a team, so another big effort from him tonight.
Both teams entered the game red-hot on the power play, and the Lightning's unsafe extra-man unit continued its terrorizing ways.
Unlike the Game 1, when Tampa Bay pulled Vasilevskiy at the second intermission, or Game 2, when the net-minder was whistled for tripping and the subsequent power play led to a late second-period Capitals goal, Vasilevskiy found a rhythm early in Game 3.
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. But after they killed a penalty around the half-way mark of the first, the Lightning seemed to wake up. Brooks Orpik's failure to clear the puck allowed the Lightning to score on their first power play of the night.
"Thats just guys sacrificing their body for the team", center Brayden Point said.
In the first two games of the series, the Capitals' dominance appeared in the score sheet not in special teams, but in even-strength goals.
The Bolts held that lead into the second period and then extended it early in the middle frame on Nikita Kucherov's patented right circle one-timer at 1:50, Tampa Bay's two snipers in the circles creating havoc for the Caps' penalty killers. And Evgeny Kuznetsov netted an odd-angled attempt with about three minutes left.
The Capitals finally got on the board when Brett Connolly scored at 10:31 of the second.
Keeping them scoreless was never more crucial than in the first 10 minutes, when most of the game was played in the Lightning's end.
The Caps are 7-1 on the road in the playoffs and 3-4 at Capital One Arena. "I liked the way we responded tonight". "We probably needed to spring a little life into our group". "There's something to be said, too, (for) winning games on the road, when you can just kind of hear a pin drop in the crowd, sometimes, which is always a good thing". It's been a heck of a run with - we really haven't changed our lineup at all in getting to this point.
"The big thing for us is, and I think it's worked I guess in the three games, the team that gets the lead is the team that's in the driver's seat", Cooper said.
Tuesday night, DC councilman Jack Evans announced that Game Four is covered as well.
"We haven't done anything yet", Stamkos said. "We've made it a series". "There's no secret. We've dug ourselves a hole here, but by no means is it something that we can't overcome".
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