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game recap

Lightning win Game 4 against Capitals, even Eastern Final

Vasilevskiy makes 36 saves for second straight road victory

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / Senior Writer

WASHINGTON -- Andrei Vasilevskiy made 36 saves, and Alex Killorn scored the go-ahead goal in the third period to help the Tampa Bay Lightning even the Eastern Conference Final with a 4-2 win against the Washington Capitals in Game 4 at Capital One Arena on Thursday.

Game 5 of the best-of-7 series is at Tampa Bay on Saturday.


[WATCH: All Lightning vs. Capitals highlights | Complete Lightning vs. Capitals series coverage]


"Vasy was there to bail us out," Lightning captain Steven Stamkos said. "That's why he's one of, if not the best goalie in the world. He's given us a chance throughout the year when we haven't had our best, and tonight was another example of that."

Stamkos, Brayden Point and Anthony Cirelli scored for the Lightning, who improved to 5-1 on the road in the Stanley Cup Playoffs despite being outshot 38-20, including 14-6 in the second period.

Video: TBL@WSH, Gm4: Point finishes pretty passing play

The road team has won every game in the series so far.

"It's pretty bizarre, but you come on the road and there's just this business-like attitude where you're together as a group, you're with each other for dinner, you're watching the other game, you're playing cards, you're just going into the hockey rink and just playing," Stamkos said. "We've found success on the road, and you need to if you want to be where we are."

Dmitry Orlov and Evgeny Kuznetsov scored, and Braden Holtby made 16 saves for the Capitals, who are 3-5 at home in the playoffs and 7-1 on the road.

Video: TBL@WSH, Gm4: Orlov opens scoring with one-timer

"It's a missed opportunity," Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin said. "It is what it is. Nothing we can do. We're not going to look back. We're just going to look forward. This group of guys has been in different situations all year and we fight through it."

Killorn scored from the slot to make it 3-2 at 11:57, six seconds after a Lightning power play ended.

Mikhail Sergachev kept the puck in at the left point and got it low to Ondrej Palat, who fed Killorn from behind the net. Killorn made a deke to his backhand to open Holtby and beat him five-hole.

"Sergachev throws it down the wall and when Palat gets there … I thought he was going to rim it up to the other side," Killorn said. "He makes a great play on his backhand to put it to me in front of the net, ends up catching their D. Once I get it, I put it to my backhand because I see [John] Carlson coming with my stick. I just tried to put anything on it."

Cirelli scored an empty-net goal at 19:58 to make it 4-2.

The Lightning were 1-for-2 on the power play, improving to 3-for-7 in the past two games and 6-for-14 in the series. The Capitals were 0-for-7 on the power play in the past two games, including 0-for-4 Thursday.

Video: TBL@WSH, Gm4: Vasilevskiy absorbs Ovechkin's blast

"We lost the battle again," Ovechkin said.

Orlov gave the Capitals a 1-0 lead at 4:28 of the first period, but the Lightning tied it 1-1 70 seconds later on Point's goal. Tyler Johnson picked off Washington defenseman Michal Kempny's errant backhand pass in the defensive zone, passed to Yanni Gourde in the right face-off circle, and Point converted his feed from the left of the crease at 5:38.

"We gave them an easy turnover that ended up in the back of the net," Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. "You don't want that. You want to build momentum and we gave it right back."

Video: Dunkin Donuts Breakaways: Holtby denies Johnson

Stamkos scored a power-play goal from the left circle for the fourth consecutive game to give the Lightning a 2-1 lead at 8:32 of the first. They kept the lead into the second by killing three penalties in the final 8:40 of the period.

But Kuznetsov tied it 2-2 at 5:18 of the second when he beat Vasilevskiy through the five-hole from the left side. He has 12 points (five goals, seven assists) during a seven-game point streak.


Goal of the game

Killorn's goal at 11:57 of the third period.

Video: TBL@WSH, Gm4: Killorn goes to backhand for lead


Save of the game

Vasilevskiy stopping Brett Connolly at 5:40 of the third period.

Video: TBL@WSH, Gm4: Vasilevskiy robs Connolly with glove


Highlight of the game

Stamkos' goal at 8:32 of the first period.

Video: TBL@WSH, Gm4: Stamkos buries Point's feed for PPG


They said it

"You love your games when you don't really need your goaltender and your team is playing well in front of you, but when you don't have your 'A' game, you need your goalie to have his 'A' game, and [Andrei Vasilevskiy] sure did." -- Lightning coach Jon Cooper


"In the playoffs, they don't really ask how, right? They ask what the series is at, and we came in here and regardless of how well Washington played, which I think they played really well, we found a way to win two games. That's what I'm most impressed with." -- Lightning captain Steven Stamkos


"We'll battle through it. This group has been resilient as [heck] all year, and I don't expect anything -- nothing has come easy to this team. Everybody knows that. This team is just used to that, but we're going go to Tampa and I expect us to respond the way we have." -- Capitals coach Barry Trotz


Need to know

Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom had four shots on goal, won six of nine face-offs, and was minus-1 in 18:51 in his return to the lineup after missing the past four games with an injury to his right hand. … Stamkos, who has six goals and four assists in a seven-game point streak, passed Martin St. Louis for most postseason power-play goals in Lightning history (11). … Kuznetsov has 21 points (10 goals, 11 assists) in the playoffs, tying Ovechkin (2009) for most in a single postseason in Capitals history. … Defenseman Victor Hedman's point streak ended at eight games, a Tampa Bay playoff record. He had one goal and 10 assists in that span.


What's next

Game 5 of Eastern Conference Final at Amalie Arena on Saturday (7:15 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVAS)


Video: Killorn helps Lightning edge Caps to even the series



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