Game 5 will take place Thursday at 8 p.m.in Las Vegas.
Then, minutes later, Brett Connolly fed the puck from behind the net to Andre Burakovsky, who took a shot on Vegas goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, opening the door for Eller to tip it in. But Vegas played an urgent game that was both fast-paced and physical, out-hitting Washington 18-10 in the first. The team scored in the third period or overtime in 20 of 24 games in the playoffs.
The Capitals had not advanced beyond the second round of the playoffs since the 1998 Cup final when they were swept by Detroit, but defeated Columbus, arch-rival Pittsburgh, and Tampa Bay before downing expansion Vegas this spring.More news: Medical mystery in China: Are Canadian diplomats affected?
Evgeny Kuznetsov, the NHL's leading scorer in the postseason (31 points), is coming off a four-assist night and has seven points (goal, six assists) in the Final.
Jakub Vrana opened the scoring with a snipe off the rush at 7:21 before Nate Schmidt tied it up with a shot that banked off the right skate of Capitals defenceman Matt Niskanen and in. Ten of Ovechkin's goals came on the road.
Ovechkin's 15th goal of the post-season gave him the outright lead, and set a new Capitals record for a single playoffs, one more than John Druce's 14 from 1990.
Captain Alex Ovechkin, who scored an early power-play goal, and his teammates are Washington's first championship hockey team - and the city's first champion in a major pro sport since the Redskins won the Super Bowl in early 1992. Vegas will push with everything they have, but these Capitals are relentless. The Capitals challenged, claiming interference, but the goal stands.