The Washington Capitals proved that home ice advantage is a major factor in the NHL Stanley Cup Finals as they took the lead in the series 3-1, winning game 4 of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals by the score of 6-2. The Capitals jumped out to a very big lead in the first period, scoring three goals and taking the early lead. Let’s take a closer look at how this game played out for both teams.
TJ Oshie put the Capitals in the driver’s seat on Tuesday Night scoring the first goal in Washington. Oshie scored on a power play with the assist from Evgeny Kuznetsov. The second goal of the game for the Capitals came from Tom Wilson, who also got the assist from Kuznetsov. The final goal of the first period was scored by Devante Smith-Pelly.
The second period was fairly quiet, but the Capitals added one more goal from John Carlson. Carlson tied the Capitals record for most playoff points scored by a defenseman with the second period goal. Carlson now has 54 career playoff points, which places him in a tie with Calle Johansson.
When the 3rd period started, James Neal put the Vegas Golden Knights on the board. Neal scored at the 14:17 mark in the 3rd period but the Golden Knights were still down by 3 with the score 4-1. The Golden Knights were down by three but refused to go away without a fight. With 7:34 left on the clock, Reilly Smith cut the lead in half scoring a goal to make the score 4-2.
The crowd inside the Capital One Arena was very quiet, and it was abundantly clear that the Capitals needed to do something to bring the crowd back in the game. The motivating factor came with 6:23 left on the clock when Michal Kempny took advantage of 4-4 play and scored a goal to bring the game to 5-2.
That goal put the crowd right back in the game, and if that wasn’t enough, the game got chippy with hits which caused the crowd to get on their feet and come alive! The Capitals ended up with a 5-3 power play with 2:13 left in the game. The Capitals toyed with the puck and had several passes in front of the net before Brett Connolly sent one home with 1:09 left in the game to put the nail in the coffin of the Golden Knights. The Capitals ended up winning the game 6-2 and should make for a very interesting Game 5. There were several ejections with just a minute left in the game, and that should set the tone for Thursday Night.
The Capitals now have a 3-1 lead and are in control of the Stanley Cup. The Washington Capitals have made sure the series will either end in Vegas or at least come back with a chance to win the Stanley Cup in front of their home crowd next Sunday. The series now heads back west to Las Vegas for Game 5. The game will be played on Thursday Night at 8:00 PM ET on NBC.