Capitals Rally With 5 Unanswered Goals In Second Period To Roll Over Islanders, 6-3

Screen cap: NBCSW

The Washington Capitals rallied with five unanswered goals in the second period to beat the New York Islanders 6-3 Thursday night at Capital One Arena. The win improves the Capitals record to 5-0-3 (13 points) on the season.



Vitek Vanecek (3-0-2, 2.70 GAA, .918 sv%) got the start between the pipes for the Capitals. Semyon Varlomov (3-1-0, 1.00 GAA, .966 sv%) got the start in goal for the Islanders. The starting forward lines and defensive pairs for the Capitals:

The Islanders would strike with two quick ones early in the firs frame. First, Oliver Wahlstrom (1) would score at 9:50 of the first frame.

The Islanders would make it 2-0 just 18 seconds later with a goal from Casey Cizikas (1) at 10:08 of the first frame.

The Islanders would make it 3-0 with a power play goal from Anders Lee (3) at 17:39 of the first frame.

The first period would end with the Islanders holding a convincing 3-0 lead. Islanders led in shot attempts 14-13 and shots on goal (SOG) 10-8. The Islanders were 1 for 2 and the Capitals 0 for 1 on the power play in the first frame.

The Capitals got on the scoreboard with a goal from Conor Sheary (1) at 9:07 of the middle period. John Carlson (6) and Brenden Dillon (3) had the helpers.

Conor Sheary (2) would get another tally at 10:20 to close the gap to 3-2. Zdeno Chara (2) and Richard Panik (2) had the assists.

The Capitals would tie the game with a goal from Garnet Hathaway (2) at 11:11 of the second period. Carl Hagelin (1) and Nic Dowd (1) had the helpers.

The Capitals would take their first lead of the game with a power play goal from John Carlson (3) at 14:16 of the second period, making it 4-3. Justin Schultz (3) and Nicklas Backstrom (5) had the assists.

The Capitals would make it 5-3 with a goal from Zdeno Chara (1) at 18:30 of the second period. Justin Schultz (4) and Mike Sgarbossa (1) had the assists.

The goal was Chara’s first goal as a Washington Capital. His new teammates ecstatic from the goal.

The second period would end with the Capitals leading 5-3. Capitals led in shot attempts 23-17 for the second period. Capitals led in shots on goal 14-9.

The Capitals and Islanders skated to a scoreless draw for most of the third period. Tom Wilson added an empty net power play goal to make it 6-3, and that would be the final.

The Capitals are back in action on Saturday when they host the Boston Bruins in the first of a two-game set at Capital One Arena.


  • Vitek Vanecek stopped 27 of 30 shots for a .900 game save percentage.
    Capitals were 2 for 3 and the Islanders 1 for 3 on the power play.
  • Islanders led the battle at the faceoff dot 55-45%.
  • Capitals led in blocked shots 18-13.
  • Islanders led in shots on goal 30-23.
  • The Islanders led in shot attempts 52-38.


  • The Capitals scored five goals in the second period, marking the team’s highest single-period goal total since Jan. 18, 2020, when they scored five goals in the third period against the New York Islanders.
  • Vitek Vanecek remains unbeaten in regulation. He is one of two rookie goaltenders in franchise history to remain unbeaten in regulation in his first six career games, joining Jim Carey (6-0-0-1 in 1994-95), and one of four goaltenders to accomplish this feat since 2000-01.
  • Zdeno Chara scored his first goal as a Capital to extend the Capitals’ lead to 5-3. It marks Chara’s 206th career goal, the third-most goals among active defensemen (Shea Weber: 219; Brent Burns: 212).
  • John Carlson gave the Caps a 4-3 lead. It’s the first time this season that the Capitals have scored four goals in one period, and Carlson now has two straight multi-point games (1g, 1a in each).
  • Garnet Hathaway tied the game at 3-3 with his second goal of the season. This is the second time this season the Capitals have scored three goals in a period (1st period vs. Pittsburgh, Jan. 19).
  • Sheary scored the Capitals second goal of the game to cut the Islanders lead to 3-2. Sheary has 12 career multi-goal games.
  • Justin Schultz recorded the primary assists on the Capitals’ fourth and fifth goals. Schultz has now recorded multiple points in three-straight games (2g, 4a).

Peter Laviolette

Zdeno Chara and Garnet Hathaway

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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8 Responses to Capitals Rally With 5 Unanswered Goals In Second Period To Roll Over Islanders, 6-3

  1. Diane Doyle says:

    Confess I had dreaded the two game series with the Islanders given that the Caps were missing important pieces of their offense and that the Islanders’ goalie Semyon Varlamov was uber hot coming into it. But I also knew that Varlamov was playing over his head, as nobody is that good, and that what goes up must come down (as the old song “Spinning Wheel” by Blood, Sweat and Tears states) including goalie save percentages. Well, regression to the mean is certainly a bitch.

    But did wonder if things were a lost cause after Period 1 even though at least one goal by NY was a fluke. But, shock of shock, they got the lead and then scored another in second period and thought that maybe they’ll win this game after all.

    Play list for tonight: “Spinning Wheel” by Blood Sweat and Tears
    “Ma Cherie Amour” by Stevie Wonder as Sheary is pronounced as “sherry” or the French form “cherie”
    Also, “I Am A Rock” by Simon and Garfunkle

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      We were do for a clunker, and I was convinced for 20 minutes this would be the game. My bad. Pretty impressive efforts from the boys, it will. E a great frame of reference for later down the line when a rally is needed in a more important game.

      • Diane Doyle says:

        I was afraid it would be clunker. Went out to get gas since tomorrow’s weather wasn’t going to be an improvement over today’s. Read a book for a bit and was shocked to see the Caps were actually ahead.

  2. Pingback: Friday Caps Clips: Sheary Baby

  3. Marky says:

    Can I just say… Wow?
    Love 77 at center actually and the backups can play. Maybe ease the other 4 who are out in slowly. I think some of these current players should be given more opportunities than first thought.
    Great comeback!

    • redLitYogi says:

      Brilliant lineup choice by Lav. First, putting Oshie in at center insures we have a scorer (Oshie) on the 2nd line, an all around guy, Panik, and a fast puck retriever, Sheary. Then for line three just move line 4 up. Yes, it’s a fourth line but it’s one of the better ones in the league. And then you have capable players for the so-called fourth line, including one guy (Carr) who’s played quite a bit in the big league. Should Oshie remain at center? I’d say with Kuznetsov and Eller back, no. But with either one of them out, I’d say he should be the first choice to shift. (And will this mean the Caps will be more willing to trade Kuznetsov for the right offer? They were apparently in on the talks for Dubois and Kuznetsov had to be the guy they were offering.)

  4. redLitYogi says:

    I’m on a ten minute trip home from the local store and I turn on the radio: it’s 3 zip Isles. By the time I’ve gone a mile and a half, it’s 3-2. By the time I park, it’s tied and the Caps are about to go on the power play. The team seems to love this system and the defensemen are responding. Chara was outstanding yesterday and Carlson — who I frequently have knocked for his lack of quickness and poor defending — has made me eat my words and yes, dammit I think he’s actually skating better this year. (Witness him keeping up with Barzal at a key moment…)

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