Capitals not ruling out Nicklas Backstrom for Game 3

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He pointed to Game 4 against the New Jersey Devils in the opening round, when Kucherov had points on all three Lightning goals. "There's no secret. We've dug ourselves a hole here, but by no means is it something that we can't overcome". No matter how much credit his defensemen and forechecking forwards earned, the Lightning needed Vasilevskiy to be what he has been throughout the regular season and playoffs. Point and Kucherov also posted helpers and Hedman added a pair of assists while Tampa Bay received 36 saves from Andrei Vasilevskiy who improved to 9-4-0.

In Games 1 and 2, Washington had received all-star efforts from Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Braden Holtby.

"We've thought about different things, but for me and our staff, we don't feel it's a personnel issue with how things are going", he said. You always want to step up. "You've got to make them chase the game", Cooper said. A lone bright spot in the poor homestand was captain Steven Stamkos appearing to heat up [VIDEO]after a slow start to the playoffs, and Stamkos and the rest of the Lightning's marquee names all came through huge in game three. It was a clutch performance.

The Capitals enter Tuesday's game with a 2-0 series lead over the Lightning.

"We haven't done anything yet", said Stamkos. But if anyone should know better than to look too far ahead, it's the Capitals and their long-suffering supporters. "We've made it a series".

Game 3 on Tuesday night in Washington can't come soon enough for the Lightning, who are in a historically hard spot after losing twice at home to open the series.

"He's going to have to be great", said Keith Jones, a former National Hockey League forward and current NBC Sports analyst. "We were ready for it and nobody was going to give up ..." I didn't think we were as focused as we have been normally on the road. They scored four goals in Tampa. Brooks Orpik's failure to clear the puck allowed the Lightning to score on their first power play of the night. The starting time for each Capitals home game was pushed back an hour to 8 PM, increasing the likelihood that the final horn would blow after Metro closed its doors at 11:30 PM.

"They came in here, they're desperate and they played that way", said Capitals coach Barry Trotz.

Here are three takeaways from Tampa Bay's victory. Instead, the Lightning made the adjustments, just as Washington did in overcoming deficits in each of the first two rounds. The Lightning power play is now 5 for 12 in the series. And then, with the Capitals still reeling, he set up Hedman in the slot a couple of minutes later. "When you get to the playoffs, really it's the team that wins". That's how we've advanced. If not, they'll at least be comforted by the notion that Game 5 is in Tampa. But Washington's power play could not connect on its opportunities the way that Tampa Bay had. That's probably because, to put it simply, the Golden Knights have looked the most like this year's team of destiny, rallying behind Marc-Andre Fleury and incredible offensive balance to defy the forecasts that maybe had them as a competent, not contending, team in their first year of existence.

The difference in Game 3, Cooper says, was pretty simple: "We checked". "They were going to be excited coming back and playing in front of their fans".