On Thursday night the Tampa Bay Lightning were once again badly outshot by the Capitals but escaped Washington with a win.
Andrei Vasilevskiy was outstanding for the second straight game and has now stopped 72 of the last 76 shots (.947 SV%) that he has faced. That is a significant upgrade from the 10 goals he allowed on 62 shots (.839 SV%) in the first two games of the series.
As good as Vasilevskiy looked in Games three and four, the real story of this series has been the Tampa Bay power-play. With the man advantage in this series, the Lightning have gone 6-for-14 (42.9%) while holding the Capitals to just 3-for-14 (21.4%) on the penalty kill.
Watch all six Goals:
The #GoBolts PP is has scored in all four games and is 6-for-14 (42.9%) in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Stamkos: 4G, 2A
Point: 1G, 3A
Kucherov: 1G, 2A
Miller: 1A pic.twitter.com/j7S9KVC2HS
— Daily Faceoff (@DailyFaceoff) May 18, 2018
Dating back to Game 1 of the Boston series, the Lightning have scored a power-play goal in nine consecutive games and are 11-for-33 (33.3%) over that stretch. For the playoffs, the Lightning have converted at 30.8 percent, which is the second best rate all-time (since the NHL went to the 16-team playoff format) for a team that has made it to the Conference Finals—only the great 1980-81 New York Islanders converted at a higher clip (37.8%).
Steven Stamkos has been an absolute weapon in this series, scoring a power-play goal in every game and totalling six power-play points (4G / 2A), but has not picked up an even strength point yet. Brayden Point has scored two EVS goals and added four PPP’s (1G / 3A) to tie Stamkos for the team-lead in points in the series.
The best-of-7 has now turned into a best-of-3 as the series shits back to Tampa Bay. Can the Lightning break the trend of the road team winning on Saturday? If the Capitals can’t stay disciplined and their power-play stays red-hot, they will have a great chance.