Each day during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Canes Country recaps the night before, previews the games for that night, and gives you game times and broadcast information.
Tampa Bay Lightning 4, Washington Capitals 2 (WAS leads series 2-1)
The Tampa Bay Lightning have officially turned the Eastern Conference Final into a contest. With their 4-2 victory over the Washington Capitals on Tuesday, they have halted the Caps’ tremendous momentum for the time being, and have set up a critical Game 4 on Thursday.
Despite being outshot over the course of the game 38-23, the Lightning proved much more potent on the power play, going two for five on the man advantage, which may have been the key difference in the game. In getting their first two goals on the power play, both on rocketed one-timers from Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov, the Lightning wrestled control of the game away from the amped up Caps and their frenzied home crowd.
The Lightning added to their two goal advantage as Victor Hedman wristed the puck into an open net as the trailor on a rush led by Kucherov. Brayden Point and Brett Connolly traded goals, and Evgeny Kuznetsov got the Caps to within two goals, but that was as close as they would get. When time had expired, Andrei Vasilevskiy had stopped 36 of the 38 shots as the Bolts claimed their all important first win of the series in Game 3.
For Tampa, the key may be the awakening of their top three performers, as Stamkos (2 points), Kucherov (2 points) and Victor Hedman (3 points) all provided massive production. The Lightning will look to continue their road success (they are 4-1 on the road in the playoffs) in Game 4 on Thursday night as they attempt to even the series as two games apiece before returning to Tampa for Game 5. - Andy House
Winnipeg Jets at Vegas Golden Knights (Series tied 1-1)
9:00 p.m. ET, NBCSN
- Terrific Trio: In Game 2, the trio of William Karlsson, Jonathan Marchessault and Reilly Smith were all over the ice. Marchessault was responsible for a pair of goals including a beautiful backhand on a breakaway to beat Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck. Karlsson’s pass to spring a 2-on-1 between Smith and Marchessault in the third period was undeniably the best play of the game. The Golden Knights can’t match the Jets’ offensive firepower line for line, but Vegas’ top line can control play and have undeniable chemistry. It will be up to Winnipeg’s physical defense to slow down a red hot line.
- The Buyck Stops Here: Connor Hellebuyck has been phenomenal in the playoffs but had a few blunders in Game 2. He misjudged a play by Tomas Tatar and ended up allowing a goal after moving out of position. The Jets succeed in the offensive zone but Hellebuyck’s play has provided a solid anchor and is the main reason they are this far in the playoffs in the first place. His play in a pivotal Game 3 will set the tone for the rest of the series.
- What Happens in Vegas… Although not as intimidating as “the Winnipeg Whiteout,” crowd noise is bound to be a factor in T-Mobile Arena. Vegas’ home crowd is one of the loudest in the NHL and are sure to provide energy to the battle-tested Golden Knights. The noise should be insane, especially early in the first period. - Justin Lape