The Tampa Bay Lightning lead the series for the first time in this year's Stanley Cup Final against the Dallas Stars. An offensive explosion in the second period gave Tampa an insurmountable lead that Dallas simply could not do anything about, resulting in a 5-2 win for the Stars.
But before the Lightning's overwhelming offense sealed things, it was the Stars' sloppy play that got things going for the Eastern Conference representatives. A poor pass gave Nikita Kucherov a one-on-one opportunity at a goal in the first period, which was immediately converted, and another turnover a few minutes later gave returning captain Steven Stamkos a scoring opportunity to make his return to hockey that much more emphatic.
Given that it was still the first period when all of this went down, the Stars quickly gathered themselves and began to fight back. Jason Dickinson eventually scored Dallas' opener of the game, but that happened during a flurry of offense that the Stars tried to put together at the end of the first period. At one point, they doubled their opponents' shots on goal 16-8.
But as soon as the second period rolled around, any semblance of Dallas dominance dissipated. They reverted to their sloppy style of play that got them in trouble early in the first period, and the Lightning, who appear to be more ready than ever for this championship moment, took full advantage. The one goal lead quickly became two, then three and, next thing you knew it, they led 5-1 at the end of the second.
The lead had gotten to the point where Lightning coach Jon Cooper felt no need to bring Stamkos back out onto the ice -- he only amassed 2:47 on the ice for the game. With the win all but wrapped up, Tampa continued the tone set in Game 2 and got physical with their beaten down opponents, as if to add a reminder beyond the scoreboard that they were the dominant ones on Wednesday. Game 4 is set for Friday night in Edmonton, and Dallas
CBS Sports followed along all of the Game 3 action live and noted all of the highlights, goals and more. Check out the live feed down below for all that information.