Published: Fri, May 18, 2018
Global | By Shelia Dennis

Capitals waste Backstrom's 'hell of a game' return

Capitals waste Backstrom's 'hell of a game' return

The Washington Capitals spent plenty of time on offense, but Andrei Vasilevskiy helped the Tampa Bay Lightning steal Game 4 with a 4-2 win. Also seen is Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov (86), of Russian Federation. The hard work was done behind the net as Ondrej Palat placed yet another backhand pass on Killorn's stick who faked a forehand shot and went between the legs (on his backhand of course) of Holtby to score the all-important go-ahead goal for a 3-2 Tampa lead. Washington took a pair in St. Petersburg and Tampa Bay returned the favor in D.C. Orlov's second goal of the playoffs was assisted by T.J. Oshie and Matt Niskanen. Not to mention it has to depressing going back to Tampa Bay with the series tied when you already won on the road twice.

The road team has now won all four games in the series. Washington outscored Tampa, 7-1, at even strength in the first two games, so the Lightning must play like they did in Game 3 to have a good chance the rest of the way.

Jonathan Marchessault scored twice and Alex Tuch scored game-winning goal in the second period as Las Vegas defeated Winnipeg 4-2 in Game 3 of the Western Conferne finals in Las Vegas. They managed just one shot on a second-period man advantage, even after the Lightning's Tyler Johnson had to discard his broken stick and skated stickless for almost half the two-minute penalty kill.

Washington's goals had come from Evgeny Kuznetsov - off an assist by Ovechkin - in the second period, and defenseman Dmitry Orlov in the early going.

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After one flubbed chance, Ovechkin threw his head back and looked up, the very picture of disappointment. Tampa Bay struggled in his absence and narrowly missed the playoffs, finishing with 94 points. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 16th overall, and it's successfully killed off 79.3 percent of all opponent power plays.

The Lightning climbed back into the series with Tuesday's 4-2 win, improving to 4-1 on the road in the 2018 playoffs. Steven Stamkos earned his fourth power play goal of the series andBrayden Point continued his great series with another goal. He notched 21 goals and 50 assists while playing all but one game in the regular season. He raised his play another stop in Thursday night's game four. The team is 6-3 in those games.

Washington had plenty of chances to even the game, including three huge power plays in the first period.

Those boos arrived after the Capitals failed to score on any of a succession of three man-advantage opportunities.

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Hedman has a goal and 10 assists during an eight-game point streak.

Nit Vasilevskiy wouldnt let another puck go in. Tampa Bay has evened the best-of-seven Eastern Conference Final series with Washington at two games apiece.

The good news for Bolts fans is with no supplemental discipline in sight, Anton Stralman will be eligible (and will nearly assuredly be in the lineup) for Game 4 against the Capitals on Thursday night.

Less than a minute after the opening faceoff, injured forward Nicklas Backstrom took the ice for his first shift of the Eastern Conference final and received a standing ovation. Sometimes, numbers lie. Alex Killorn's game-winning-goal came seconds after the penalty to Lars Eller had expired.

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