The Capitals come home to Capital One Arena for Game 3 on Tuesday night sporting a 2-0 lead over a Tampa Bay Lightning team that won the most games in the National Hockey League during the regular season. "And we did", said Stamkos, after the Lightning's 4-2 road victory on Tuesday night reduced their series deficit to 2-1.
With the Capitals lead down to one game the two teams will regroup and do it again on Thursday night for a pivotal game.
Moreover, with the power-play goal - the 10th of his postseason career - Stamkos passed Martin St. Louis to become Tampa Bay's all-time leading playoff power-play scorer, at 25 points, per Bryan Burns.
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Washington goalie Braden Holtby stopped 19 shots. 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.
Lightning coach Jon Cooper was happy to see his team score first after the Capitals opened the scoring in Games 1 and 2 to take early control. This time, the Lightning prevented the momentum swings.
These were not the same Washington Capitals that dominated the Tampa Bay Lightning in Games 1 and 2 in Florida, not the same team that outscored its opponent 10-4 in those games.
Then, trailing 4-1 in the third period, Washington was denied on a power play that seemed to douse its hopes.
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Washington didn't have much of the magic they found in abundance in Tampa, although their possession numbers showed they controlled the majority of the shot share.
Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom remained out of the lineup despite going through the morning skate.
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