Hedman had the primary assist on power-play goals by Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov and was a key part of three big penalty kills that gave Tampa Bay some much-needed momentum. "We've made it a series".
Alex Ovechkin (59 goals, 47 assists) will pace the offensive attack for the hosts.
Asked what his club could do to fare better at home, Capitals coach Barry Trotz said: "Just play the way we do on the road".
The Lightning climbed back into the series with Tuesday's 4-2 win, improving to 4-1 on the road in the 2018 playoffs. Washington was able to overcome it and win 6-2 in Game 2 on Sunday, partly because its power play produced a goal. Since regaining the starting job in Game 3 of the first round, the Capitals' Braden Holtby had his first game that could arguably be classified as a dud.
The Capitals, who are just 3-4 at home in the postseason, stayed positive despite the loss. "Obviously to get him back would be huge". The Capitals threatened to make a game of it when Brett Connolly scored from the left circle at 10:31 to cut the lead 3-1.
"They converted on the chances they had". "There's something to be said, too, (for) winning games on the road, when you can just kind of hear a pin drop in the crowd, sometimes, which is always a good thing". "We didn't", center Evgeny Kuznetsov said. "We will be better next game". They scored. We didn't, and that's on us. (Wow, just saying that feels weird.) Anton Stralman has no history of such behavior and can not be classified as a dirty player, there was no clear intent to injure in the hit, and there was no serious injury to Wilson as a result of the play.
To illustrate how infrequent this is, I graphed out the distribution of Tampa Bay's performance by those same scoring chance and shot attempt numbers over three-game segments in the last three years. The Lightning were the Lightning again in Game 3. The Lightning pressured them into making some sloppy passes in the defensive zone Tuesday and their zone exits weren't as clean. I didn't think we were as focused as we have been normally on the road. The Capitals did make it easy for them, to be sure, by committing so many avoidable penalties, but the Lightning punished them for it for the third straight game. I mean, that being said, I think we should be probably mentally stronger to not let that affect us. Playing that way at home has been a problem throughout the playoffs.
Granted, Stralman could've made a better decision on the play and chosen to pump the breaks a little; however, he was penalized for this and the game progressed. The over is 20-7-3 in the last 30 meetings. "But the big games when we've needed them ... those guys put the puck in the net for us".
Wilson also was forced to sit out two preseason games following a late hit on an opponent, then was suspended for the first four games of the regular season for boarding a player shortly after his return. They have guys who can shoot and make plays.