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Top Playoff Moments: No. 8 - Nikita Kucherov wins ECF Game 3 in overtime

by Bryan Burns / Tampa Bay Lightning

The Tampa Bay Lightning capped an incredible run through the postseason with the franchise’s second-ever trip to the Stanley Cup Final.

Although the Lightning were defeated by the Chicago Blackhawks in six tight Cup Final games, the playoff ride will be remembered by Tampa Bay fans for its resilience and exhilaration.

In one final salute to the 2014-15 Eastern Conference champion Tampa Bay Lightning, we’ve ranked the top 11 Bolts’ moments from the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Why 11?

Because there were too many candidates to squeeze into just 10 spots.

Relive the Bolts’ journey to the Stanley Cup Final and enjoy the experience for a second time.

11. STAMKOS HEADLOCKS QUINCEY, RED WINGS INTO SUBMISSION
10. KUCH COMES TO THE RESCUE (PART I)
9. STAMKOS ENDS GOAL DROUGHT
8. KUCH COMES TO THE RESCUE (PART 2)

Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final was like a boxing match, both the Lightning and Rangers taking turns trading substantial blows.

New York struck first, scoring 1:02 into the game and again eight minutes later to go up 2-0.

The Lightning countered with four-straight goals, seemingly landing the knockout punch when Alex Killorn called his own number on a two-on-one late in the second period.

The Rangers staggered but rallied, tying the game early in the third. Ondrej Palat put the Bolts temporarily back in front late; the Rangers’ Dan Boyle struck two minutes after Palat to send the back-and-forth contest to overtime.

It was there Nikita Kucherov provided the TKO blow.

Three minutes and change into the extra frame, Kucherov sped down the right wing, moved to the center of the ice as he crossed the blue line and used a pair of Rangers’ defensemen to provide a screen as he snapped a shot from beyond the circles past Henrik Lundqvist that lifted the Lightning to a 6-5, Game 3 victory. Kucherov’s third game-winner of the postseason gave Tampa Bay a 2-1 lead in the ECF.

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