Lightning's Steven Stamkos: Game 3 win a 'step in the right direction'

NHL Power Rankings Inside the Conference Finals

The list of things the Tampa Bay Lightning needed to do to avoid falling behind 0-3 in the Eastern Conference Final against the Washington Capitals was getting long. On the power play, Victor Hedman and Brayden Point set Stamkos up for a laser of a one-timer from the lower left circle. The three All-Star skaters combined for 7 points (3 goals, four assists) during the 3-goal blitz, which took just 9:44, while Vasilevskiy posted a.947 save percentage including several big saves while the game was still close to prevent the Capitals from gaining any momentum. He says the way they've played in the Conference Finals is not the way they have played at all other points throughout the season.

"They know and we know both teams have pretty good special teams and if we're going to play like that, they're going to use it", Alex Ovechkin said.

Stamkos stepped up his game with a 60% CF%, Vasilevskiy was solid, and the Lightning checked enough of the boxes elsewhere to get themselves back into the series, defeating the Capitals 4-2 in Game 3.

Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom was not in the lineup for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals, missing his fourth straight game with a right hand injury. The game was a return to form for the Lightning defense, which had been stout before the Capitals series. He pointed to Game 4 against the New Jersey Devils in the opening round, when Kucherov had points on all three Lightning goals. "Not good enough for power play, but we will be better for sure".

They kept the attack going with first-minute goal in Game 2 on their way to a 6-2 victory. "He's our best player".

There's no need to wait for the autopsy to come back on Tuesday's game - the Capitals took six penalties and allowed two power-play goals, holes that are tough for any team to climb out of. "I think that gives him some confidence, too, that he knows we're on and that's the way it should be". "We've got to go out there and win games on the road, and we've done that in the playoffs and we've got to do it again". "We talked about this, you've got to make them chase the game".

"We haven't done anything yet", Stamkos said. Capitals coach Barry Trotz said before Tuesday's game that Backstrom remains "day-to-day". "We've made it a series".