Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

Caps' fan flies home in between cancer treatments to watch Game 3

Caps' fan flies home in between cancer treatments to watch Game 3

All three were out for the Game 6 series clincher in Pittsburgh, the 2-1 overtime win that not only immortalized Evgeny Kuznestov, but may well have overturned the team's faint-of-heart postseason rep - largely because they overcame that many missing key players. The Lightning will look to tie the best-of-seven series on Thursday night in Washington. May. After all, Stamkos struck with one-timers in Games 1 and 2 as well and Tampa Bay is now clicking at a 41.7% clip (5 for 12) during the series.

They're also 7-1 away from Capital One Arena this postseason, and in a series that hasn't seen the home team prevail yet, they've got the visiting ice advantage. Here were the most important.

It wasn't flawless, but it was a more complete effort from Tampa Bay, which jumped out to a 3-0 lead before Brett Connolly answered for Washington in the second. Before that, Steven Stamkos opened scoring for the Lightning late in the first period after Braden Holtby was called for tripping. You can only play with fire so long before you get burnt. It helped that his teammates made it a heck of a lot easier on the 23-year-old Russian, limiting odd-men rushes that dominated Games No. 1 and 2. Their first two goals in Game 3 came on the power play. Brayden Point of the Lightning deflated those fans 5 minutes, 32 seconds later with his sixth goal of the playoffs.

Unlike Alex Ovechkin on the Capitals' power play, not everything ultimately funnels through the left faceoff circle for Tampa Bay's top unit. "When Nicky's ready to go, he's ready to go", Trotz said. Washington still leads the series 2-1 and if Tampa Bay can't even the series in Game 4 then it'll still find its back against the wall, but at least the Lightning turned this first step towards digging themselves out of the hole they dug for themselves.

"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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"A big thing for us, and I think it's worked I guess in the three games, is the team that really gets the lead is the team that's in the driver's seat", Cooper said. That was big for us.

"We haven't done anything yet", Stamkos said.

The Capitals' power play and penalty kill both have thrived during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. "When you have a guy on the opposite side who can shoot it like Kuch, they've got to respect one guy and that's going to leave someone open". "Like I said, hes been outstanding for us all year, and he was great tonight".

Somehow, the Lightning survived that penalty.

Hedman's 5-on-5 game still needs some work, but No. 77 scored his first goal of the playoffs and added two helpers so no one will be complaining too much. Washington can't take lazy/dumb penalties like they did in Game 3.

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