Photo Courtesy: USA Today

Caps Can't Convert Past Vasilevskiy, Lose 4-2

May 18, 2018 - 10:27 am

By Joe Schiller

After taking a commanding 2-0 series lead, you’d be naive to think the Washington Capitals would have a cakewalk to the Stanley Cup Final. Now just two games later, it’s a completely different story.

Backed by the glove of Andrei Vasilevskiy, the Tampa Bay Lightning continued their winning momentum with a 4-2 win over the Caps on Thursday night.

On paper, the Caps completely dominated the statistics. They tallied 38 total shots compared to the opposition’s 20. Yet, Barry Trotz’s team failed to convert the multitude of chances that came their way, resulting in defeat.

Vasilevskiy, a Vezina Trophy finalist, proved exactly why he’s worthy of that honor. Like a brick wall, the Caps couldn’t find any shots past the Tampa Bay goaltender. He finished with 36 saves, proving clutch all the way down to the final seconds of the game.

Dmitry Orlov’s top-shelf slapshot gave the Caps an early 1-0 lead but the Lightning answered with a purpose. Brayden Point scored just over one minute later on a textbook passing sequence from the attacking line. Like they’ve been accustomed to all series, the power play opportunities proved vital.

Two costly penalties by Lars Eller led to a Steven Stamkos goal and the game-winning score by Alex Killorn late in the third period.

A late odd-man push brought the Caps just seconds away from an overtime berth but missed opportunities were the culprit.

There's been no such thing as a home-ice advantage in this series. The road team has won each game, which is good news for the Caps as the two sides head back to Tampa Bay for Game 5. It's a must-win for Washington to avoid being stuck on the brink of elimination.