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 and even the Eastern Conference final at two games apiece.
The hard work was done behind the net as Ondrej Palat placed yet another backhand pass on Killorn's stick who faked a forehand shot and went between the legs (on his backhand of course) of Holtby to score the all-important go-ahead goal for a 3-2 Tampa lead.
Steven Stamkos and Brayden Point scored Tampa Bays first two goals, and Anthony Cirelli added an empty-netter with a second left.
The Washington Capitals spent plenty of time on offense, but Andrei Vasilevskiy helped the Tampa Bay Lightning steal Game 4 with a 4-2 win.
Road rules: Lightning even series with Capitals
Washington had plenty of chances to even the game, including three huge power plays in the first period. "When you get this far in the playoffs you're playing such good teams and there's going to be nights like tonight where it just felt like everything we did didn't go as planned, especially in that second period, and Vasy was there to bail us out".
Make no mistake about it this game was won with some marvelous work by Vasilevskiy, who was voted the number one star of the game, and with saves like this. who could argue?
"Nick has been champing at the bit for a while now, " said Trotz, lauding Backstrom's game.
And so it was vital that Vasilevskiy played just like the Vezina Trophy finalist he is.
Alex Ovechkin sprung Evgeny Kuznetsov on a partial breakaway five minutes into the second period. Vasilevskiy robbed Brett Connolly on a redirect.
Following one flubbed chance, Ovechkin threw his head back and looked up, the very picture of disappointment. The Capitals got plenty of good chances with the extra man, but Tampa Bay was able to tighten the kill up on later kills. From Dmitri Orlov's opening goal until the first Lightning penalty at 11:40, the Bolts outshot the Caps, 6-2, and netted two goals. Tyler Johnson made some key plays without a stick on the fourth penalty kill. It wasn't until the midway point of the second that they recorded their first shot on goal of the period, snapping a 20-plus-minute drought without one.
Washington held a 29-13 advantage in shots through the first 40 minutes-and it was more of the same in the third.
The Lightning used the momentum from the power play, and Ellers tardiness, to steal Game 4 in Washington.
Still, the Lightning can't feel too great with how they played in Game 4. He had just one assist in his previous 10 games. Then the Lightning captain yelled "F-ing right!" and Point yelled "Let's F-ing go!" Thanks to Vasilevskiy, though, the period ended with the game tied at two. In fact, they need to play better than they did in Game 4 if they want to close things out in Game 6.
He had participated in the morning skates for Washington this week but returned to taking line rushes and power-play practice time only on Thursday. After all, they fell to 3-5 in the nation's capital this postseason, while they are 7-1 in away games.
The situation got worse for DC as Lars Eller took an ill-advised holding minor. "Right now, it's the time of year you have to concentrate on the next game, the next shift".