Capitals Outlast Islanders 4-3, Lars Eller Scores Twice

Photos: Washington Capitals/NHL

The Washington Capitals beat to the New York Islanders 4-3 Thursday night at Capital One Arena. The win raised the Capitals record to 6-6-1 for the season. The Capitals next face the Bruins in Boston on Saturday. Puck drop is 7:00 PM. 

Braden Holtby got the start in goal for the Capitals. Former Capital Jaroslav Halak got the start in net for the Islanders. The Capitals lines for tonight:

Liam O’Brien, called up by the Capitals today, and Aaron Ness were the healthy scratches for the contest. Matt Niskanen, Andre Burakovsky, Tyler Graovac and Brett Connolly all missed the game due to injury.

Tonight’s attendance was 18,506, the Capitals 368th consecutive sellout at Capital One Arena.

Unlike the past seven games, and nine of the previous 12, the Capitals would be the first to light the lamp in this contest. Taylor Chorney would find the back of the net on a deflected shot from the right slot at the 5:55 mark of the opening frame.

Brooks Orpik was whistled for the game’s first penalty and it would cost the Capitals just 6 seconds into the man advantage. John Tavares would notch a dirty power play goal from close range, tying the game 1-1 at the 13:01 mark of he first period.

The Islanders led in shots on goal 11-6 with five and a half minutes left to play in the first period.

Lars Eller would give the Capitals the lead again on a shot from the slot, beating Halak five-hole at the 16:19 mark of the opening frame. Chandler Stephenson, who was credited with the primary assist on the Chorney goal, was also credited with the primary assist on Ellers goal, giving him two points for the first period.

The first period would end with the Capitals leading 2-1. The Islanders led in shots on goal 14-11 for the first period.

The Islanders Jason Chimera was called for hooking Christian Djoos 4:06 into the second frame, but the Washington would be unable to capitalize on the man advantage.

The Capitals were called for too many men on the ice at x, and once again, it would be costly. Anders Lee would tie the game just 21 seconds into the man advantage at the 16:18 mark of the middle frame.

However, the Capitals would quickly regain the lead just 12 seconds later with a goal by Alex Chiasson at 16:30, giving the Capitals a 3-2 lead.

The period would end with the Capitals leading 3-2. The Islanders led in shots on goal 8-6 for the middle frame, and 22-17 after two periods of play. The Capitals were 0 for 3 on the power play after two periods while the Islanders were 2 for 3.

The Islanders would tie things up with a spin-o-rama goal by Anders Lee from the slot at the 7:00 mark of the final frame.

The Capitals were being outshot 32-17 at this point in the game, with the Capitals having 0 shots for the third period.

However, Lars Eller would strike again, giving the Capitals a late lead with a goal at the 16:19 mark of the third period. Eller had two goals and an assist for the game.

John Walton with the call on Capitals Radio:

The Capitals would hold on for the 4-3 win. The Capitals had a total of two shots for the final period, one of them Eller’s game winner.


  • Lars Eller scored (2-1—3) for Capitals to become 15th player in 2017-18 to tally a go-ahead goal in final 5 mins. of regulation.
  • Entering tonight’s game, Eller’s 17.44 individual shot attempts per 60 minutes of five-on-five play ranked second among the Capitals.
  • This was Lars Eller’s 7th career multigoal game.
  • The Capitals power play went 0 for 4 on the night, making it eight games since their last power play goal.
  • The Capitals will hold an optional skate on Friday at 11:30 am at Kettler Capitals Iceplex.

Capitals Head Coach Barry Trotz’ post-game press conference:

The NHL box score is here.

By Jon Sorensen



About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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