Sunday, 20 May, 2018

Alex Ovechkin breaks stick over crossbar after Lightning tie series

Steven Stamkos is healthy, confident and ready to lead a Lightning comeback Tampa Bay Lightning look to even series vs. Washington Capitals
Shannon Reynolds | 18 May, 2018, 11:45

Full credit to Vasilevskiy, who played his best game of the series by far.

Brett Connolly's goal pulled the Capitals within 3-1 and Evgeny Kuznetsov scored late as Washington fell to 3-4 at home in the playoffs.

The Lightning beat the Capitals 4-2 in Thursday night's Game 4 of the Eastern Conference final.

He adds: "If we play our game for 60 minutes, I like our chances".

Down 2-1, Washington set the tone early in the second period when T.J. Oshie delivered a huge hit on Cedric Paquette.

In total, Tampa Bay denied Washingtons nine shots on four power plays. Yanni Gourde, Tyler Johnson and Point took advantage of a awful giveaway from Michal Kempny to use some quick passing and beat Braden Holtby for Tampa's first goal of the night.

Before being injured, Backstrom was one of Washington's top players in the post-season with 13 points in 11 games.

So now the Lightning returns home tied at 2. "He can pass the puck and he's been here for a long time and he's a world-class player". Their poor decisions drew loud boos from their fans as the Lightning led 2-1 at intermission.

"Of course", Ovechkin said, "it's a missed opportunity". Vasilevskiy made seven saves, three against Ovechkin. Washington continued to fire on Vasilevskiy, but he was ideal the remainder of the night. The game entered the final period tied.

The Capitals once again came out of the locker room in attack mode. But they've seen this movie before. In 2016 and 2017, the Penguins robbed the Caps of series wins with Matt Murray and Marc-Andre Fleury respectively.

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The turnaround started with Vasilevskiy, who has been nothing but brilliant since the series shifted locations.

The only reason the Lightning won Game 4 was because of an absolutely ridiculous performance by goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy. The Lightning at even strength looked shorthanded. However, they failed to clear the zone. Ondrej Palat was waiting.

Alex Killorn made a quick move in front of the Washington goal, sliding the puck between the legs of Braden Holtby to give Washington a 3-2 lead. But it was not enough.

A home-team is likely going to win a game in this series and it will be a critical one. Shots on Goal-Tampa Bay 7-6-7-20. Especially in the playoffs, when the games are so important. "It's 2-2 and if you'd told us that before, we'd probably be pretty happy with that. And he had it tonight". "You're just trying to do your job, and I think it's a play that, once I watch, I'll realize that I could do a better job on". All the penalty killing we were doing, our guys were gassed. "Vasy was there to bail us out".

Here are three keys to the game. We're invested there. We're playing with real good focus.

Even on a team featuring Alex Ovechkin, Backstrom has been integral to the Capitals' success for the better part of a decade. He's now in a three-way tie with Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov for the playoff team lead in both goals and points. May.

Backstrom has three goals and 10 assists through 11 playoff games this spring.

A hard-luck loss included two penalties by fill-in No. 2 center Lars Eller, who has five in the past two games. "That was way too many", Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. We're not going to look back. This group has been resilient.

On Thursday, both teams came to play. "We just need to get him out of the box". And the Capitals' power-play struggles cost them Game 4.

Then it wins games just as unexpectedly. Puck drops at 8 pm Eastern.

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