The Washington Capitals beat the New York Islanders 4-1 on Thursday night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The Capitals record improves to 30-7-3. The Islanders record falls to 22-14-5. This was Washington’s first game at the Islanders new home.
The starting lines for the Capitals:
John Carlson missed his sixth straight game since sustaining a lower body injury against Montreal on December 26th. Brooks Orpik missed his 27th straight game since sustaining a lower body injury in Detroit on November 10th. Jay Beagle missed his fourth straight game due to an injury to his hand he sustained in the game against the Buffalo Sabres on December 30th. Zach Sill missed this game to serve the first of his two-game suspension. Ryan Stanton and Mike Richards were the healthy scratches. The goalie match-up for the game, provided by @Capsgoalies:
Jaroslv Halak had missed the past five games due to an upper-body injury, last playing Dec. 21. This was his first game back, after returning to practice on Tuesday.
A closely contested game, even though the scoreboard may not reflect that. Jason Chimera continues to produce, scoring his 12th goal of the season. The Capitals were the fresher team late in the game, as the Islanders speed advantage seemed to dissipate throughout the game. Nicklas Backstrom had another good game with a goal and an assist. The Capitals outshot the Islanders 38-35 for the game. NHL’s game summary stats can be found here: Individual player stats for the game can be found here:
Marcus Johansson was called for a check to the head at 8:42 of the opening frame, giving the Islanders the games first power play. The Islanders generated decent pressure but were unable to find the twine.
Exactly ten minutes after Johansson’s goal, Alex Ovechkin would get a nice feed from Karl Alzner and snap a sweet wrister to stretch the Capitals lead to 2-0 at the 15:45 mark.
The first period would end with the Capitals leading 2-0. Shots on goal were tied at 10-10.
But that would be it for the Islanders. Kyle Okposo was called for high-sticking on Nate Schmidt at 9:52, giving the Capitals their first power play of the game, but Washington would struggle to generate any kind of offensive pressure and failed to convert. Tom Wilson was called for unsportsmanlike conduct at 13:48 of the middle frame, giving the Islanders their second power play. The Islanders generated huge pressure with several quality scoring chances, but the Capitals penalty-kill and Braden Holtby would stand tall. Nate Schmidt would stretch the Capitals lead to 3-1 at 15:54 of the second period on a huge blast from the point. The goal was setup on a nice steal and feed from Nicklas Backstrom.
The Capitals would go back on the power play on a slashing call on the Islanders’ Ryan Strome at 17:06. Once again the Capitals would do very little with the man-advantage. The period would end with the Capitals leading 3-1. Shots on goal were tied at 24-24.
The third period saw a step-up in the level of physical play as things started to get a tad chippy. The Capitals did a good job in the defensive zone, while continuing to push the puck up ice and generate offensive chances. Nicklas Backstrom would seal the victory with an empty-netter at the 17:18 mark of the final period. The Capitals would hold on for the 4-1 win, their 30th of the season.