Capitals @ Islanders: Inside The Numbers: Tom Wilson Scores Twice, Backstrom Passes Bondra

Photo: @Islanders

It’s becoming a familiar script. A slow start followed by a convincing response. After giving up the games first goal the Capitals responded with four unanswered goals for a convincing 4-1 win over the Islanders in Brooklyn Monday night. The Caps are back in action this Friday night when they return home to host the New Jersey Devils. Puck drop is 7PM ET. 

T.J. Oshie and Evgeny Kuznetsov were scratched for the sixth-straight game due to “upper body” injuries (concussions) they sustained against the Jets in Winnipeg on November 14. Oshie did not make the trip to New York, however, Kuznetsov did skate for the first time this morning, prior to the team’s morning skate.

Our complete game recap can be found here. The NHL box score can be found here. Stats provided by Natural Stat Trick are here.

With the absence of Oshie and Kuznetsov, Capitals head coach Todd Reirden went with the same makeshift lines he has used in the previous three games. The only changes were to the blueline, where he split Christian Djoos and Madison Bowey, pairing each with a veteran player (Matt Niskanen and Michal Kempny, respectively).



The Islanders wasted little time, notching the first goal of the game just 36 seconds into the contest, but Tom Wilson would tie the game with a tally just three minutes later. With an assist on Wilson’s goal, Nicklas Backstrom tied Peter Bondra (825) for the second most points in franchise history. The game was tied 1-1at the first break. The Capitals would grab their first lead of the game with a goal from Nic Dowd midway through the middle frame to give the Caps at 2-1 lead at the second intermission. Tom Wilson would score late in the third period, giving the Caps a 3-1 lead. Backstrom had another assist on Wilson’s second goal, passing Peter Bondra for second most points in franchise history. Alex Ovechkin would add an ENG for the 4-1 win.

The Capitals out-attempted the Islanders 24-14 and led 12-8 in shots on goal (SOG) after one period of play. Islanders flipped the script in the second period, out-attempting the Capitals 15-6, and led in SOG 10-3, but the Caps held a 2-1 lead. The Islanders would out-attempt the Caps 17-5 and led 15-9 in SOG, but the Caps added two goals for the 4-1. For the game, the Islanders out-attempted the Caps 46-35 and led 33-24 in SOG.



Braden Holtby continues his very high level of play. He stopped 32 of 33 shots he faced for a .970 save percentage. Thomas Greiss stopped 20 of 23 shots he faced for a .870 save percentage.

The Capitals were 1 for 2 and the Islanders 0 for 4 on the power play.

The Islanders won the faceoff battle 57-43%. Brett Connolly was 0 for 1, Chandler Stephenson was 0 for 1, Nicklas Backstrom was 6 for 12, Lars Eller was 8 for 20, Nic Dowd was 4 of 8, Tom Wilson was 1 for 1 and Travis Boyd was 1 for 4.

Tom Wilson led the Caps in shots on goal with 6. Devante Smith-Pelly left the game early with an injury, thus the minimal TOI. Reirden said after the game “For the most part, he should be alright.” The Caps will re-evaluate back at home. DSP left tonight’s game after the second period with a lower-body injury.

By Jon Sorensen

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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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