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Lightning Top Capitals, Canucks Beat Predators in NHL Playoffs

The Tampa Bay Lightning pushed the top-seeded Washington Capitals to the brink of elimination and the Vancouver Canucks beat the Nashville Predators in overtime to go up 2-1 in their National Hockey League playoff series.

The Lightning beat the Capitals 4-3 last night to lead their best-of-seven series by three games to none, while the Canucks won 3-2.

Steven Stamkos and Ryan Malone scored 24 seconds apart in the third period to give the Lightning the win over the Capitals at St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa.

Sean Bergenheim put Tampa ahead in the first period. Mike Knuble tied it 59 seconds into the second period and John Carlson made it 2-1 to the Capitals seven minutes later. Vincent Lecavalier tied it at 2-2 before Alex Ovechkin put the Capitals ahead again.

Tampa Bay can eliminate the Capitals with a home win in Game 4 tonight. Also tonight, the Boston Bruins and San Jose Sharks can take 3-0 series leads against the Philadelphia Flyers and Detroit Red Wings, respectively.

At Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Ryan Kesler scored his second goal of the game on a power play 10:45 into overtime to secure the win for the Canucks.

David Legwand gave the Predators a 1-0 lead in the first period and Kesler tied it in the second period. Christopher Higgins put the Canucks 2-1 ahead in the third and Joel Ward tied it at 2-2 to force overtime.

Nashville hosts Game 4 tomorrow.

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