T.J. Oshie Strikes Twice On The Power-Play, But Islanders Score Four Unanswered To Take Game 1, 4-2 Over Capitals

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After an hour delay due to the Boston Bruins’ 4-3 double-overtime win over the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 1 of their 2020 Stanley Cup Playoff best-of-seven first-round series, the Washington Capitals fell to the New York Islanders by a score of 4-2 in Game 1 of theirs at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto on Wednesday afternoon. The Islanders took a 1-0 series lead. Goaltender Braden Holtby made 23 saves in the loss.

Capitals’ Round 1, Game 1 Lines

@CapitalsPhoto: @Capitals

After switching captain Alex Ovechkin and forward Jakub Vrana in the top-six forward group to spark their offense in their 2-1 win against the Boston Bruins on Sunday, the Capitals kept it that way for Game 1. Defenseman John Carlson returned after missing the team’s three round-robin games due to an undisclosed injury, playing with Michal Kempny. Radko Gudas came out of the lineup with Carlson returning. Center Lars Eller missed his third straight game due to mandatory quarantine.

First Period

Center Nicklas Backstrom did not return to the game after playing 7:21 and getting hit in open ice by Islanders captain Anders Lee.

The Capitals led 7-2 in shots, 15-12 in hits, 3-2 in takeaways, had three giveaways while the Islanders had seven, and did not convert on three power-plays in a very physical first period.

The Islanders won 52% of the draws, did not covert on one power-play opportunity, and led 8-4 in blocked shots through 20 minutes.

Second Period

After center Evgeny Kuznetsov’s pass to forward T.J. Oshie was blocked and went off the backboards, the puck came right to Oshie on the backdoor and he slammed it into the net from the crease to make it 1-0 Capitals on the power-play 5:27 into the second.

In a goal-mouth scramble in front of Islanders goaltender Semyon Varlamov, Oshie pitchforked the puck into the net from the crease to extend the Capitals’ lead to 2-0 on the power-play at 11:18.

Oshie saved a goal with his stick in the crease to keep it a 2-0 game later in the period.

After getting a drop feed from center Mathew Barzal, who drove into the offensive zone on an up-ice rush, forward Jordan Eberle cut to the slot and beat Holtby to the glove side to slash the Capitals’ lead in half with only 1:03 left in the second.

The Capitals led 16-13 in shots, scored on two of their six power-plays, and had six giveaways while the Islanders had 13 through 40 minutes.

The Islanders led 11-9 in second-period shots, 29-22 in hits, 11-10 in blocked shots, 6-3 in takeaways, won 58% of the draws, and went 0-for-two on the power-play in the first two periods.

Third Period
Lee tied it 51 seconds into the third, jamming on a rebound in the crease after a point shot by Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock was stopped by Holtby.

Forward Josh Bailey gave the Islanders the lead on a one-timer from the slot after center Brock Nelson stripped the puck from Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin on the half-wall shorthanded at 6:52 of the third.

Forward Anthony Beauvillier potted one into a wide-open net after Bailey got his own rebound and he shot one from the right dot to make it 4-2 with 8:55 left.

The Capitals scored on two of their seven power-plays and had 13 giveaways while the Islanders had 17.

The Islanders led 27-26 in shots, including 14-10 in the third, 38-35 in hits, 15-13 in blocked shots, 8-6 in takeaways, won 63% of the draws, and went 0-for-three on the power-play.

Game 2 of the series is set for Friday at 8 PM ET. The game will air on NBC Sports Washington in the DMV and NBCSN outside the area.

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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