When the Conference Finals began, the Tampa Bay Lightning were not only favorites to knock off the Washington Capitals [VIDEO] and make their second Stanley Cup Finals appearance in four seasons, but they were also favored to improve on 2014 and get their names etched on the Cup. After two consecutive poor showings by the home side, however, the Capitals instead returned to Washington holding a 2-0 series lead and are looking to clinch their first appearance in the finals in 20 years on home ice with a pair of victories.

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The puck drops for Game three in Washington at 8 PM EST.

What to watch for in game 3

If the Lightning is going to save their season, one man who will play a crucial part in the revival has to be captain Steven Stamkos, and fans looking for positive signs of life can point to his strong scoring start to the series.

Stamkos registered just three goals in ten games as the Lightning dispatched the Devils and Bruins, but has scored twice while adding one assist against Washington. All three of Stamkos' points have come on the power play, where the Lightning have gone 3-for-7 in the series.

Both teams have struggled to kill penalties so far in the series, with the Capitals bettering the Lightning's impressive mark by going 4-for-7. Staying out of the penalty box will be key for both teams if that torrid pace continues, but the Capitals will also be looking to maintain their dominance in full-strength play, where they have outscored the Lightning 6-1 through two games, including a 4-0 thrashing in Game 2 [VIDEO].

The Lightning will also need a stronger performance from Vezina-nominee Andrei Vasilevskiy. Despite being one of the strongest goalies in the NHL this season, the young goalie has struggled against the Capitals.

The Lightning skaters rebounded from a poor first game in Game two, with shots a near identical 37-35 in the Capitals favor. The home team was undone by Braden Holtby (.943 save percentage) dominating Vasilevskiy (.838) and stopping every even-strength shot he faced.

Lightning fans will also be hoping that history is on their team's side. The franchise's first ever playoff series victory came after dropping two games at home to the Capitals in the 2003 playoffs. After surviving a tense overtime in Game three, the Lightning went on to win the next three games as well to take the series 4-2.

Where to stream Lightning-Capitals game 3 online

Game three will be broadcast nationwide in the US on NBC Sports, with the broadcast beginning at 8 PM EST. If you want to catch the game live online or on your mobile device it will be available to viewers with an eligible TV package via the NBC Sports Live App.