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NHL Playoff Capsules

TAMPA, Fla. - Steven Stamkos and Ryan Malone scored 24 seconds apart in the third period and the streaking Tampa Bay Lightning beat Washington 4-3 to push the top-seeded Capitals to the brink of elimination in the Eastern Conference semifinals on Tuesday night.

After winning twice in Washington, the Lightning returned home and rallied to take a commanding 3-0 series lead. Tampa Bay can advance to the conference finals with a victory at home on Wednesday night in Game 4.

Vincent Lecavalier and Sean Bergenheim also scored for the fifth-seeded Lightning, whose sixth straight post-season win gave them their big lead in the best-of-seven series. Tampa Bay hasn't lost since falling into a 3-1 hole against Pittsburgh in the first round.

Alex Ovechkin had a power-play goal and an assist for Washington, which led 3-2 heading into third period after Mike Knuble, John Carlson and Ovechkin scored in the second.

Dwayne Roloson stopped 29 shots for the Lightning.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP)—Ryan Kesler scored his second power-play goal at 10:45 of overtime, and Vancouver beat Nashville and grabbed a 2-1 lead in the Western Conference semifinal series.

Kesler scored his first two goals of the post-season and had an assist, and Chris Higgins had a goal for Vancouver. The Canucks, the Presidents' Trophy winners in the regular season, bounced back from a 2-1, double-overtime loss in Game 2 and regained home-ice advantage.

Game 4 is Thursday night in Nashville.

Joel Ward and David Legwand both scored for the Predators, who matched the Canucks' energy but not their shots. Vancouver outshot Nashville 40-26 through regulation.

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