The Lightning and Capitals played three times during the regular season with the Lightning winning two of those contests. Vasilevskiy made seven saves on the penalty kill alone to save a beleaguered unit that came in ranked 13th out of 16 playoff teams. Nikita Kucherov extended the lead to 2-0 with a goal 1:50 into the second period. They'll have a chance to even things up in Washington on Thursday night. May. Ovechkin also added a goal and assist, bringing his point total to four in the series.
Tampa Bay returns to the conference finals after losing the third round to the Penguins in 2016. Stamkos and Johnson each returned minutes later to a game that included nastiness after whistles throughout.
Braden Holtby of the Washington Capitals gives up a goal. Coach Barry Trotz continues to call Backstrom day-to-day.
Washington wasn't as a sharp as it had been on the road, where it had racked up a 7-1 record. Forward Jonathan Marchessault says the team proved they're able to compete against a "great team".