Lightning Strike Back, Beat Capitals 4-2; Caps Lead Series 2-1

Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Washington Capitals 4-2 Tuesday night at Capital one arena. With the loss, the Capitals now lead the series 2-1, with Game 4 set for Thursday night at Capital One Arena. 

The Lightning opened the scoring with a power play goal from Steve Stamkos to take a 1-0 lead into the first intermission. The Lightning would stretch their lead to 2-0 with a power play goal from Nikita Kucherov and an even-strength goal from Victor Hedman to take a 3-0 lead before Brett Connolly would get the Caps on the scoreboard. The Lightning would get it right back, making it 4-1 at the second intermission. Evgeny Kuznetsov would register a late tally to make it 4-2.

Braden Holtby (10-3, 2.04 GAA, .926 sv%) started between the pipes for the Capitals. Andrei Vasilevskiy (8-4, 2.74 GAA, .912 sv%) started in goal for the Lightning. The Capitals starting forward lines and defensive pairs for Game 3:

Forward lines:
Defensive pairs:

Scratches: Nicklas Backstrom (right hand), Travis Boyd, Nathan Walker, Shane Gersich, Madison Bowey, Pheonix Copley and Jakub Jerebek.

The Lightning would open the scoring with a power play goal from Steven Stamkos at 13:53 of the opening frame. The man-advantage was setup by a tripping call on Braden Holtby.

The first stanza would conclude with the Lightning leading 1-0. Washington outshot Tampa 14-10 for the first 20 minutes. Tampa won the faceoff battle 65-35%. Tom Wilson had the hit of the opening frame.

The Lightning would stretch their lead to 2-0 with another power play goal. This time Nikita Kucherov would register the tally at 1:50 of the middle frame.

The Lightning would make it 3-0 shortly thereafter with a goal from Victor Hedman at 3:37 of the middle frame, making it 3-0.

The Capitals would finally get on the scoreboard with a goal from Brett Connolly at 10:31 of the middle frame. Chandler Stephenson and Matt Niskanen were credited with the helpers.

The Lightning would restore the three-goal lead with a goal from Brayden Point at 16:03 of the second period, making it 4-1.

The second period would end with the Lightning leading 4-1. Washington outshot Tampa 11-8 for the second period, and 25-19 after 40 minutes of play.

The Capitals and Lightning battled for most of the final frame without a tally before Evgeny Kuznetsov lit the lamp at 16:58, making it 4-2. T.J. Oshie and Lars Eller were credited with the assists.

That would be the final.


  • Brett Connolly scored his fourth goal of the playoffs and his second-straight game with a goal. Connolly entered the 2018 playoffs without a career playoff goal.
  • Evgeny Kuznetsov recorded his ninth goal of the postseason and extended his point streak to six games (4g, 7a). Kuznetsov’s 20 points lead the Capitals. Kuznetsov is now one point shy of the Capitals’ all-time postseason mark set by Alex Ovechkin (21) in 2009.
  • Capitals outshot the Lightning 38-23.
  • Tampa Bay was 2 for 5 and the Caps 0 for 3 on the man advantage.
  • Tampa Bay won the faceoff battle 56-44%.
  • Chandler Stephenson recorded a primary assist, his fourth of the playoffs. Stephenson is tied for fourth in the playoffs for points by a rookie.
  • Tonight was the 54th playoff game for Barry Trotz as coach of the Capitals, establishing a new franchise mark.
  • The Capitals are 3-4 at home and 7-1 on the road in this year’s playoffs.
  • NHL teams with a 2-1 series lead in the conference finals have a 85-24 series record.
  • Tonight’s attendance was 18,506, the Capitals 411th consecutive sellout at Capital One Arena
  • The NHL box score is here.


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Game 3!

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About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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