Is it any wonder that fans of the Washington Capitals are always waiting for disaster? The excitement was palpable in Washington DC as the Capitals prepared for two home games after taking a 2-0 series lead on Tampa’s home ice. Many fans thought that with the Penguins monkey now off their back’s, nothing could stop their march to the Stanley Cup finals. Some were thinking of a sweep, but most fans knew better. The time that the Capitals seem to be the most jittery is when they play at home and this proved true again, to a horrified home crowd.

Game 3 just a fluke?

In game three of the NHL Eastern Conference finals, the stage was set for either a continued Capitals sweep or a Lightning comeback. The Capitals could not stay out of power-play situations in the game, and that’s all the Lightning needed to spark a return to form. The Capitals looked off on defense and goalie Braden Holtby came back to earth during the course of play.

Lars Eller, who had been performing flawlessly, also contributed to the Capitals power play woes, and Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman was all over the ice, giving the Capitals fits during those power-play opportunities.

Hedman made not just two brilliant play passes that assisted in goals, but he also scored a third goal, himself, in the Lighting 4-2 win. The Capitals players simply chalked it up to an off night and knew they would be better in game 4.

Game 4 evens the series

Capitals fans were hoping that the game three loss was just a fluky off night for the home team.

A game four home win would put them right back in the driver’s seat for the series, and they were ready to “rock the red” as they say in Washington. The Washington Capitals clearly outplayed and out shot the Lighting for a majority of the night launching 38 shots. They even survived a third-period power play, but quickly gave up a goal after the power play ended along with a late empty-netter to lose 4-2 again.

Lighting goaltender, Andrei Vasilevskiy, played his best game of the series continually thwarting Capital’s chances to get the much-needed win. Alex Ovechkin was so frustrated at the game’s end that he broke his stick over the cross-bar and then proceeded to break-up the remaining pieces.

Washington now heads back to Tampa Bay for an away game that could ultimately decide the direction of the series.

Washington fans are left shell-shocked after witnessing two straight home losses and those old feelings of inevitable failure are starting to creep back in.