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Lightning journal: What a difference a week makes for Stamkos

Lightning journal: What a difference a week makes for Stamkos

He doesn't want to have to think about how he's on the doorstep of playing in the Stanley Cup final. "And you just go out there and play simple hockey, and I think there's something to be said of winning games on the road where you can hear a pin drop in the crowd". While it appeared that Connelly would begin the upward trend of victory for the Caps, they were never able to get out of first gear.

To make things more puzzling, none of the games have been terribly close. "At least, I do".

With our without Backstrom in Game 4, the Capitals must limit Tampa Bay's power play. Dating back to their second-round series against the Boston Bruins, the Lightning have scored a power-play goal in eight consecutive games.

Steven Stamkos said the Lightning reclaimed it in Game 3. "He's utilizing that here in the playoffs". The only other player on the injury report is Lightning left winger Adam Erne (lower body), who is also questionable but has not played in the playoffs after seeing action in 23 regular season games. With a young guy like that, it's great that he feels that confidence out there.

With reports of their demise proven premature, the Tampa Bay Lightning will look to even their Eastern Conference Final with the Washington Capitals when the teams meet in Game 4 on Thursday night.

Backstrom has missed four consecutive games with a hand injury, but has been ramping up his on-ice activity over the past week.

Indications are he'll return for Game 4.

"We've seen him for two years now", Lightning defenceman Victor Hedman said. "We just have to relax a little bit and stay positive". He plays in all situations. He didn't spend a season developing in the minors.

Braden Holtby (27.3 saves per game) has been the primary option in goal for the Capitals. Then a year ago, the knee injury. He centered the third line between Chandler Stephenson and Brett Connolly and worked with the first power-play unit. "We just play our game". "And here I am, 25 years later".

It's not just Point's offensive production that has stood out in these playoffs. Their first shot of the second period came at 10:11. Tampa Bay center Tyler Johnson (arm) has three goals and four assists in 13 playoff games.

But those who believe in karma are thinking he might have signed off on the Capitals' fate, especially after they lost Game 3 by a 4-2 score on Tuesday. "That's how you get success".

"Those guys have delivered when we've needed them", said Lightning coach Jon Cooper.

"Today was one of those games you feed pucks to Kuch and Stammer, pucks are going to go in", Hedman said.

"It would be pretty cool", captain Alex Ovechkin said.

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