Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images
The Washington Capitals fell to the New York Islanders by a score of 4-1 at Capital One Arena on Tuesday night in their regular season home finale to remain a point behind the Pittsburgh Penguins for third place in the Metropolitan Division with a game in hand.
The Capitals cannot finish as the first wild-card in the Eastern Conference after the Bruins’ 4-2 win over the Florida Panthers on Tuesday, meaning they will not face the Carolina Hurricanes in the first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Hurricanes clinched the Metropolitan Division on Tuesday and the New York Rangers will be the No. 2 seed in the division. Goaltender Ilya Samsonov made 22 saves in the loss.
Capitals’ Lines vs. Islanders
With captain Alex Ovechkin out, center Connor McMichael appeared for the first time in eight games. Defenseman Justin Schultz appeared in his 600th career NHL game (118th with the Capitals).
Scratched: LHD Matt Irwin, LW Axel Jonsson-Fjallby, LHD Michal Kempny
Injured: Ovechkin (upper-body, missed first game, day-to-day); LW Carl Hagelin (eye, 24th, out indefinitely); LW Joe Snively (upper-body, 24th, week-to-week)
After a turnover by the Capitals and a triangulation passing play with left-wing Zach Parise and center Jean-Gabriel Pageau, right-wing Kyle Palmieri toe-dragged around defenseman Nick Jensen (forcing him to blow a tire) and beat Samsonov to the blocker-side at 8:37. However, Parise interfered with Samsonov in a way that prevented the right pad getting across, so the goal did not count after the Capitals challenged the call.
On the cycle, right-wing Marcus Johansson hammered a slapper from the top and left-wing Conor Sheary deflected the shot past the blocker of goaltender Ilya Sorokin to open the scoring for the Capitals 1:47 later. That’s the 52nd time this season the Capitals have scored the game’s first goal, which leads the NHL. Johansson now has five points (two goals) in his last six games. With the secondary assist, Jensen earned his career-best 21st point of the season.
— Capitals Replays (@capsreplays) April 26, 2022
Defenseman Ryan Pulock blasted a one-timer to the blocker-side from the top after right-wing Josh Bailey fed him from the right half-wall to tie it with 3:42 to go in the first.
The Capitals led 4-0 in takeaways and 13-8 in hits through one.
The Islanders led 13-10 in shots, won 63% of the draws, and scored on their lone power-play of the first.
Each team earned three blocked shots and four giveaways in the period.
The Capitals led 20-18 in shots (including 10-5 in the second), 8-2 in takeaways, 9-8 in blocked shots, 17-14 in hits, and did not score on two power plays in the first two periods.
The Islanders had five giveaways while the Capitals were credited with six and scored on their lone man advantage through 40 minutes.
The teams split the battle at the dot through two.
Defenseman Noah Dobson bombed one off of Capitals defenseman Trevor Van Riemsdyk’s kneecap and in after getting a pass from right-wing Josh Bailey at the half-wall to give the Islanders the lead on the power play 2:56 into the third.
After Samsonov misplayed the puck behind the net and Islanders center Casey Cizikas fell down, Cizikas and Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov wiped out but Cizikas got a stick on it after it hit him and backhanded it in the net to extend the lead to two while shorthanded at 8:42.
Islanders captain Anders Lee blasted a shot from the high slot past Samsonov’s glove after Capitals right-wing Tom Wilson got hit along the boards and the puck went right to him to make it 4-1 with 4:43 left.
The Capitals led 33-26 in shots (including 14-8 in the third), 11-6 in takeaways, 17-12 in blocked shots, 21-18 in hits, won 52% of the draws, and did not score on four power plays.
The Islanders had eight giveaways while the Capitals were credited with nine and scored on both of their man advantage opportunities.
Next game: at Islanders on Thursday (7 PM ET, NBC Sports Washington in-market, ESPN+ out-of-market)
By Harrison Brown