Islanders Down Capitals 4-3 In New Year’s Eve Matinee; Evgeny Kuznetsov Scores Two Goals

The New York Islanders beat the Washington Capitals 4-3 Tuesday afternoon at Capital One Arena. The loss dropped the Capitals record to 27-9-5 (59 points) on the season.

After a pair of early goals by the Islanders, the Capitals would answer with goals from Evgeny Kuznetsov and Tom Wilson for a 2-2 tie at the first intermission. Evgeny Kuznetsov would score his second tally of the game just 44 seconds into the middle frame but the Islanders answered to make it 3-3 early in the middle frame. New York would add another goal in the middle period for a 4-3 lead at the second intermission. The final frame would be scoreless.


Braden Holtby (17-6-0-4, 2.95 GAA, .904 sv%) started between the pipes for Washington. Semyon Varlomov (13-3-0-3, 2.40 GAA, .920 sv%) got the start in goal for the visiting Islanders. The starting forward lines and defensive pairs for the Capitals:

Scratches: Christian Djoos (lower body), Nic Dowd (wife in labor).

The Islanders would strike first following an errant pass from Tom Wilson to Nicklas Backstrom was collected by the Islanders in the Capitals zone. Casey Cizikas (7) would pot the game’s first goal at 7:13 of the first.

The Islanders would make it 2-0 with a goal from Brock Nelson  (14) at 10:39 of the first period.

But the Capitals would quickly respond with a goal from Evgeny Kuznetsov (14) at 10:53 of the first period. Dmitry Orlov (16) had the lone assist.

The Capitals would tie the game 2-2 with a goal from Tom Wilson (13) at 14:17 of the first frame. Nicklas Backstrom (22) and Alex Ovechkin (15) had the helpers.

The first period would end with the game tied 2-2. The Capitals led in shot attempts 19-13 and shots on goal 11-6 for the first period. The Islanders were 0 for 2 on the power play. The Capitals did not have a power play in the first frame.

The Capitals would take their first lead of the day with a goal from Evgeny Kuznetsov (15) just 44 second into the middle frame. T.J. Oshie (15) had the lone assist.

But the Islanders would quickly answer. Casey Cizikas would score his second goal of the game at 4:27 of the middle frame, making it 3-3.

The Islanders would regain the lead with a goal from Tom Kuhnackle (2) at 12:34 of the middle frame, making it 4-3.

The period would conclude with the Islanders leading 4-3. The Islanders led in shots on goal 11-9, while the Capitals led in shot attempts 20-17. The Islanders were 0 for 2 and the Capitals 0 for 1 on the power play after two periods.

The Capitals and Islanders skated to a scoreless first half of the final frame, with the Capitals leading in shots on goal 6-3. The Capitals stepped up the pressure in the final seven minutes, generating several high-danger chances, but to no avail.

The Capitals would head to the power play with 1:00 left in regulation, with the Capitals going 6-on-4 for the final minute, but were unable to convert.

The Capitals are back in action Friday when the visit the Carolina Hurricanes in Raleigh. Puck drop is set for just after 7:30 PM.


  • Nicklas Backstrom recorded the primary assist on Wilson’s goal. Since returning from injury on Dec. 9, Backstrom has 12 points (4g, 8a) in 10 games.
  • With an assist this game, Nicklas Backstrom has recorded his 700th point (188g, 512a) of the decade, one of seven players to reach the mark. His 513 assists are the most in the decade.


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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6 Responses to Islanders Down Capitals 4-3 In New Year’s Eve Matinee; Evgeny Kuznetsov Scores Two Goals

  1. Pingback: Helper of the Decade: Nicklas Backstrom Records 513th Assist, 700th Point of the Decade on Tom Wilson’s Goal Against the New York Islanders | NoVa Caps

  2. Day One Caps Fan says:

    Frustrated yet, NovaCapsFans? Sputter, sputter, sputter go the Caps Caps Caps!

    This one was particularly disgusting. The position players were better than they have been recently. They won more faceoffs, played reasonable defense, and generally “carried the play” for large parts of the game.

    But Coach Reirden “thought about it for a long time” and gave us Braden Hole-by to squander yet another winnable Divisonal game! Hole-by got SCHOOLED by the sharper and hungrier former Cap Varlamov. Varly! Varly! Varly! He stole this game for NYI for sure.

    Kuzy showed signs of life! Ovechkin was angry and hitting. Tom Wilson rattled opponents with hits. I thought #3 on defense had a SUPERB game and his critics should clam-up. But Hole-by gave up THREE big-time soft goals, and the Caps couldn’t solve Varly-the-Hot!

    A depressing end to 2019, and the Caps continue in Free-fall. What will Baldy do? Maybe admit that Hole-by is stone-cold and Sammy ought to be given a shot at the next five games! ROTFL!
    GMBM doesn’t take these things lightly. He’s cooking up something, we just don’t know what.

    Flailing, failing Coaches like Todd Baby are in super-abundance, while Ovechkin and Backstrom Eras are not. Wish he would trade Little Jakey Vrana for a real NHL forward who is willing to hit, grind, and score, at least occasionally.

  3. Pingback: Thursday’s Capitals’ Practice Notebook: Nic Dowd Returns, Christian Djoos Remains Out | NoVa Caps

  4. Pingback: Dowd In, Djoos Out; Samsonov To Start; Reirden Will Coach Metro Division For NHL All-Star Weekend: News From Capitals’ Morning Skate In Raleigh | NoVa Caps

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