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