TAMPA (FOX 13) - Bolts fans waited outside Sheltair jet center for the Tampa Bay Lightning's return Friday after tying up the Eastern Conference Final 2-all.
"It's a way to just welcome them home," said Ginger Barron, a longtime Lightning fan. "It's saying, 'We love you, we're here for you, we support you."
Barron and Thomas Schooley were among the dozens of fans who showed up Friday afternoon to greet the home team.
"We've been out here for every single time they've arrived, whether it's 2:00 in the morning or in the afternoon," said Schooley.
A tied-up Eastern Conference Final is something to cheer about. Before games three and four in Washington, D.C., the Capitals held the Bolts winless in the series.
"Oh, I mean, let's be honest: you go down 0-2 at home, you're on life support," said Lightning Head Coach Jon Cooper. "That was basically what it was. The guys found a way to claw themselves out."
"We're happy that we obviously came back and tied this thing up, but by no means is it over," said defenseman Ryan McDonagh.
Saturday night, the Lightning will look to take it a step further by taking their first lead of the series in front of their own fans.
Winning at home is something neither the Bolts or Caps have been able to do this series.
"I think that the way that they've played the past two games, the way we've got [Andrei Vasilevskiy] playing, the way they're just clicking, the way that [Jon] Cooper has changed up the lines, I see good results out of the next two games," said Barron.
The puck drops for Game 5 at 7:15 p.m Saturday. The winners will be one away from punching their ticket to the Stanley Cup Final.