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Lightning aim for sweep of Caps

by Brian Compton /

(Tampa Bay leads best-of-seven series, 3-0)

: NHL Network-U.S. (HD), TSN (HD), RDS (HD), CSN-DC (HD), SUN (HD)

Big story: The Lightning have won six straight games and are just one victory away from reaching the Eastern Conference Final. They scored twice in a 24-second span in the third period Tuesday night and rallied for a 4-3 win in Game 3.

Team Scope:

Capitals: Once again, Washington enjoyed a solid two periods but failed to seal the deal in the third. After outshooting Tampa Bay 27-15 through 40 minutes, the Caps were outshot 15-5 in the third and allowed the Lightning to rally for the 3-0 series lead.

"We weren't supposed to play safe," Caps coach Bruce Boudreau said. "We knew they were going to come out because they've come out in the third in the previous two games. We knew we had to keep pushing and doing what we do."

Lightning: Once again, Tampa Bay was saying all the right things in its dressing room after its sixth straight victory Tuesday night. While they are just one win away from advancing, the Lightning realize the fourth win in a best-of-seven series is usually the toughest to attain.

"You can't (let up), especially against Washington," Lightning captain Vincent Lecavalier said. "We're up 3-0, but when we played Pittsburgh in the first series and it was 3-1, we never gave up and we came back. We're on the other side of it, so we've got to make sure that we go until the end."

Who's hot: Alex Ovechkin snapped a 2-2 tie late in the second period Tuesday night after earning an assist earlier on. He is now averaging more than a point per game this postseason, with 9 points (5 goals, 4 assists) in eight games. … Lecavalier scored again in Game 3, his fifth tally of the playoffs. Hart Trophy finalist Martin St. Louis has 5 goals and 6 assists in 10 games. Steven Stamkos has scored in two of the last three contests.

Injury report: Washington is likely to be without defensemen Tom Poti (groin) and Dennis Wideman (leg). Meanwhile, Mike Green suffered a lower-body injury Tuesday night and missed the majority of the third period. His status for Wednesday is uncertain. … The Lightning are unlikely to have either Simon Gagne or Pavel Kubina in Game 4. Both suffered injuries on Friday night and did not play Sunday or Tuesday. They're labeled as day-to-day.

Stat pack: Washington finally scored on the power play Tuesday night, when Ovechkin converted at 17:27 of the second period. The Caps are now 1-for-16 via the man advantage in this series.

Puck drop: "Yeah, it sounds commanding, but we all know what's (happened) years in the past and obviously with the one in the first round that it's never over until it's over. It's obviously a lot better than 2-1, so we'll take that. We deserved it tonight, especially in the third the way we played. We'll take it from there. We don't have much time to regroup. We've got to refocus, reload and come out hard tomorrow." -- Lightning center Steven Stamkos after Tuesday's 4-3 win
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