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2011 NHL Playoffs: Lightning Sweep Capitals With 5-3 Win In Game 4

Sean Bergenheim scored two second-period goals as the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Washington Capitals 5-3 in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, sweeping the series in four straight games.

Bergenheim’s linemates, Steve Downie and Dominic Moore, each had two assists, and Teddy Purcell had two assists of his own. Tampa Bay earned its first playoff series sweep since eliminating Montreal four games to none in 2004, also the last time the Lightning went this deep into the postseason.

Tied at 1 entering the second period, the Lightning scored twice to take a lead they would never lose. Bergenheim’s first goal, at 4:41 of the second, came after Downie held in a clearing attempt and shot the puck right at goalie Michal Neuvirth. Bergenheim’s first shot hit Moore and came back to him, and he floated a backhander that might have deflected off a Capitals stick into the top corner of the net.

Later in the period, Bergenheim and Moore went up the ice in a 2-on-2 situation. Bergenheim fed a pass ahead to Moore, whose wrist shot from the right faceoff dot was stopped by Neuvirth. But he gave up a big rebound, and Bergenheim moved up the slot to pounce on it and score again for a 3-1 Tampa Bay lead.

John Erskine scored on a seeing-eye shot from the left boards to cut the Lightning lead to 3-2 going into the third period. But Marc-Andre Bergeron restored the Lightning’s two-goal lead at 5:07 of the third on a power play, firing a slap shot past Neuvirth’s stick side. Martin St. Louis added an insurance goal with a little over three minutes left.

Ryan Malone also had a power-play goal for Tampa Bay, who won its seventh straight playoff game, one short of the team’s playoff record. Dwayne Roloson made 33 saves and finished with a .925 save percentage in the series.

Marco Sturm and John Carlson scored the other goals for the Capitals, who have more questions to answer than ever after another early playoff exit. Meanwhile, the Lightning have earned some badly-needed rest as they wait for the rest of the second round to play out. They will face either the Boston Bruins or Philadelphia Flyers when the Eastern Conference Finals begin the weekend of May 14-15.

Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.