Alex Killorn scored the tiebreaker with about 8 minutes left, Andrei Vasilevskiy made 36 saves, and the Tampa Bay Lightning weathered the equivalent of more than a period without a shot on goal to edge the Washington Capitals 4-2 on Thursday night, evening the Eastern Conference final at two games apiece.
Killorn was left pretty much alone during a defensive breakdown by Washington and scored 6 seconds after a Tampa Bay power play expired, putting in a pass from Ondrej Palat.
Steven Stamkos and Brayden Point scored Tampa Bay’s first two goals, and Anthony Cirelli added an empty-netter with a second left.
Washington’s goals came from Evgeny Kuznetsov — off an assist by Alex Ovechkin — and defenseman Dmitry Orlov.
The Lightning host Game 5 on Saturday night, with Game 6 back in Washington on Monday.
The road team has won every game in the series so far.
The Capitals, who eliminated the two-time reigning Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins in the second round, fell to 3-5 overall at home during these playoffs — and even got booed late in the first period, which ended with the Lightning ahead 2-1.
The Lightning won Game 4 despite going nearly 21 full minutes of game time — the last 10:41 of the first period, followed by the initial 10:11 of the second — without putting a single official shot on net. And they won even though the Capitals finally got back center Nicklas Backstrom, who was third on the team in points this season behind Ovechkin and Kuznetsov. Backstrom had missed four games in a row with an injured right hand.
One key: Vasilevskiy played just like the Vezina Trophy finalist he is. He was spectacular at times, including stops against Chandler Stephenson on a breakaway and Backstrom from the doorstep in the second period. Early in the third, Vasilevskiy used his left glove to swat away a try from Brett Connolly.