Stanley Cup playoffs: Lightning get first win vs. Capitals

By Alex Butler  |  Updated May 16, 2018 at 11:06 AM
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May 16 (UPI) -- Victor Hedman helped the Tampa Bay Lightning get a Game 3 win against the Washington Capitals in the NHL's Eastern Conference finals.

The win was Tampa Bay's first of the series. Hedman scored a goal and had two assists in the 4-2 triumph Tuesday at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C.

"When you get to the playoffs, it's the team that wins," Lightning coach Jon Cooper told reporters. "Usually there's a different hero every single night. That's how we've advanced."

Hedman got his first helper with 6:06 remaining in the first period. Brayden Point passed to his left to Hedman on that play. Headman stood between the circles before firing a pass to his left, finding Steven Stamkos.

The Lightning center then drilled a one-timer past Braden Holtby for a 1-0 lead.

Hedman also assisted the second goal. Stamkos passed back to Hedman at the blue line on that play in the second period. Hedman then slapped a pass over to Nikita Kucherov in the right circle. Kucherov went top shelf, beating Holtby with a one-timer on his glove side 1:50 into the frame.

Hedman scored his goal less than two minutes later. He hovered between the circles toward the Capitals' goal before receiving a feed from Kucherov. Hedman accepted the offering and slapped it past Holtby for a three-goal lead.

Brett Connolly tightened the game, scoring for the Capitals about seven minutes later, but Point regained the lead with a goal 16:03 into the second frame.

Evgeny Kuznetsov scored the final goal of the game with 3:02 remaining.

"We knew we had to come in here and win hockey games. I like the way we responded tonight," Hedman said. "Our start in the first period was really good. Obviously our start in the second was how we set the tone. I'm very happy with the way we played from start to finish."

Game 4 of the series starts at 8 p.m. Thursday in Washington, D.C.

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