The Capitals beat the Islanders 6-3 on Friday night at Capital One Arena. The Caps would take a 1-0 lead in the first period with a power play goal from T.J. Oshie, but the Islanders would respond early in the second with a power play goal of their own to tie things up. The Capitals would regain the lead with a power play goal by Nicklas Backstrom and an even-strength goal from Matt Niskanen to take a 3-1 lead into the second intermission. Alex Chiasson would stretch the Capitals lead to 4-1 early in the third with a power play goal and Jakub Vrana would make it 5-1 midway through the final frame. The Islanders would not go away, scoring two late goals but the Capitals would add a late empty net goal to hang on for a 6-3 win. The Capitals return to the ice on Sunday when they visit the Flyers in Philadelphia. Puck drop is 5:00 p.m.
Braden Holtby (29-15-4, 3.03 GAA, .907 sv%) got the start in goal for the Capitals. Jaroslav Halak (18-22-6, 3.22 GAA, .908 sv%) got the start between the pipes for the Islanders. The starting forward lines and defensive pairs for the Capitals:
Scratches: Chandler Stephenson, Jakub Jarebek and Brett Connolly were the healthy scratches for the game.
The Capitals would notch the game’s first tally at 14:33 of the opening frame with a power play goal by T.J. Oshie. Oshie deflected a hard pass from Ovechkin for the score. Oveckin and Kuznetsov were credited with the assists.
The period would end with the Capitals leading 1-0. The Capitals outshot the Islanders 10-4 for the first 20 minutes. Capitals were 1 for 3 and the Islanders were 0 for 1 on the man advantage.
The Islanders would tie things up early in the second period with a power play goal from Mathew Barzal at the 5:30 mark.
The Capitals would re-gain the lead with a 5-on-3 power play goal from Nicklas Backstrom at 7:12 of the second period.
Matt Niskanen would make it 3-1 with a sharp-angle goal with 2:05 remaining in the middle frame.
Evgeny Kuznetsov’s left the game with an injury sustained from a slash just before the period expired, and did not return to the game.
The period would end with the Capitals lead 3-1. The Caps outshot the Islanders 10-9 for the second period, and led 20-13 after two periods of play.
The Capitals extended their lead to 4-1 with a power play goal from Alex Chiasson at 1:46 of the final frame.
Jakub Vrana would make it 5-1 with a beautiful break-away goal at 10:56 of the final period.
The Islanders would cut into the Capitals lead with a power play goal from Brock Nelson at 13:52 of the final frame, making it 5-2. John Tavares would add a power play marker at 16:14 making it 5-3. The Capitals would add an empty net goal from Lars Eller to hold on for the 6-3 win.
- T.J. Oshie scored the game’s opening goal, his second-straight game with a goal (3g). Oshie has 15 goals on the year and his 74 goals since joining the Capitals in the 2015-16 season are the second most on the team.
- Nicklas Backstrom scored a power play goal, his second-straight and seventh power play goal of the season. It was also his 19th goal of the season. Backstrom also recorded an assist and now has points in four-straight games (3g, 4a). Backstrom also led the team with four shots and co-led the team with nine face-off wins.
- Alex Chiasson had a goal and two assists.
- Niskanen has now scored five goals in three consecutive seasons and sits five points shy of 300 career points.
- The Capitals improved to 13-10-3 in sets of back-to-back games this season, 6-7-0 in the second half of back-to-backs and 2-5-0 in the second game following a win.
- Tonight’s attendance was 18,506, the Capitals 399th consecutive sellout at Capital One Arena.
- NHL box score is here.
By Jon Sorensen
SCENES FROM THE DISTRICT
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This game was a stark reminder of the fact that the Islanders were my most hated team until the Penguins displaced them in that dubious department. They were sure gooning it up. Johnston, who earned an instigator, a misconduct, and a game misconduct in addition to fighting penalty for going after Wilson and Clutterbuck, too. And Kuzy now hurt.
Games have always been physical, goes back to 80’s playoffs.
How is Mike K settling in?
Personally think he’s doing a pretty mood job. Better than one would have expected, imho, for a trade deadline rental of his nature.
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