The Washington Capitals and the Tampa Bay Lightning will meet for game 4 of the NHL Eastern Conference Finals on Thursday night. Washington jumped out to a 2-0 series lead, but the Lightning were able to make the series 2-1, beating the Capitals 4-2 in game 2. The road team has won every game in this series so far.
This conference finals series is a battle of division champions as the Lightning won the Atlantic Division and the Capitals were Metro Division champs. Both teams are playing for the right to advance to the NHL Stanley Cup Finals. Tampa Bay is looking to even the series before heading back home for game 5, while the Capitals are trying to take command of the series. The Washington Capitals are -112 over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday.
Vasilevskiy Stands Tall for Tampa Bay
Tampa Bay didn’t have an answer for Washington through the first two games of this series, allowing 10 goals combined in their two losses. In game 3 goalie, Andrei Vasilevskiy provided a huge lift for the Lightning. Vasilevskiy stopped 36 of the 38 shots he faced to lead the Lightning to victory. Vasilevskiy will need to be on top of his game again if they are going to even the series.
Victor Hedman was the hero in game 3 for the Lightning. The big defenseman scored a goal and added two assists to lead the Lightning offense in the victory. Tampa Bay was the top goal scoring team in the league during the regular season, but has struggled scoring goals so far this series. The Lightning need to return to regular season form in order to move past the Capitals.
Capitals Must Keep Composure
The Capitals were flying high in Tampa Bay, but perhaps were a little too amped up playing at home in game 3. The Capitals committed six minor penalties that helped set up two power play goals against goalie, Braden Holtby. The Capitals must keep their composure in game 4, to give Holtby a chance at stopping goals at even strength.
Evgeny Kuznetsov and Alex Ovechkin did all they could for the Washington offense in game 3. The pair combined to take a whopping 21 shots on goal in the loss, with Kuznetsov lighting the lamp in period 3. The two forwards will look to keep the pressure on Vasilevskiy in game 4.
Washington Responds, Push Lightning to the Brink
The Lightning are looking to make it a 4th straight road victory in this series to take back home ice advantage. The Capitals are hoping to play a much cleaner game than they did in game 3, and limit the power play opportunities for the Lightning. Vasilevskiy was terrific for the Lightning in game 3, but the Capitals won’t stop challenging him.
The Capitals appear destined to reach the Stanley Cup Finals, and Ovechkin is good enough to lead them there. Washington will be more focused in game 4, and will limit their mistakes. The Lightning will battle the whole night, but the Capitals just have too many offensive weapons. A home team finally wins. Take the Washington Capitals -112 over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday.