Steven Stamkos is healthy, confident and ready to lead a Lightning comeback
May 18 2018 by Marjorie Miles
Backstrom's 13 points (three goals, 10 assists) in the Stanley Cup Playoffs were fourth on the Capitals behind Evgeny Kuznetsov (20), Alex Ovechkin (19) and John Carlson (14). Lightning head coach Jon Cooper said that the captain will start as usual for the team's Game 4 against the Washington Capitals on Thursday night. Tampa is 4-1 in road playoff games this year. As for Washington, center Nicklas Backstrom (hand) has yet to play in this series.
Tampa Bay secured its first win of the playoffs in Game 3 Tuesday night as it prevailed 4-2 in Washington. Steven Stamkos scored on a power play goal in the first period, while Nikita Kucherov and Victor Hedman scored early in the second period to make it a 3-0 game.
They possessed the puck, making the Capitals chase the game rather than chasing it themselves, thanks to some tactical adjustments and line scrambling.
With a.919 save percentage and 29.2 saves per game, Andrei Vasilevskiy (53-25-3) has been the primary option in goal for Tampa Bay this season.
The Lightning' offense attempted 32.4 shots per game in the regular season, resulting in 3.6 goals per contest (ranked first overall in the NHL).
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Washington will look to end the visiting streak in this series. Hedman assisted on that one too; and then Kucherov fed Hedman for a goal 1:47 later to make it 3-0.
In Game 3 against Washington, they led the way again. "When Nicky's ready to go, he's ready to go", Trotz said. In 2015-16 he had a blood clot issue that kept him out the last two weeks of the regular season and every playoff game that year except for Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals.
Brett Connolly would put Washington on the board after allowing Tampa Bay to score three unanswered. And sure, they have had a few rough patches during their run, but getting 42 per cent of the scoring chances - where they are through three games - is rare. "Maybe they play a little different". It is not just that teams are several games over.500 so far; it's more the idea that some of the top teams have not been very good. Stamkos has 33 goals and 68 assists to his credit (and has logged at least one point in 62 games). "They bring you energy in good ways, but at the same time, you need to stay realistic and play your game". We all know it's going to be a tough series. They get that 3-1 goal and the building is kind of hopping a little bit and they pushed.
"I think we always feel like we owe him", defenseman Anton Stralman said.