Capitals Miss Chance To Jump Into Third Place In Metro, Lose 4-1 To Islanders

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

Photo: @Capitals

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)

First Period

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.

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.

Second 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.

Third Period

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

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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14 Responses to Capitals Miss Chance To Jump Into Third Place In Metro, Lose 4-1 To Islanders

  1. Jon Sorensen says:

  2. DC Scappeli says:

    wow, did they crap the bed tonight…jeez. And what the heck is going on with Sammy??!! coming out of the net, losing position, losing his stick….is it him? Is it Scott Murray? Both?

    I can’t see Sammy being the starter for the playoffs.

  3. Lance says:

    Lackluster! My expectations have been low since winning the Cup so I’m not too bummed. The bad this year: Backstrom isn’t skating the way he used to. Hopefully he can get back to full health over the summer. It doesn’t look like Samsonov is gonna be a superstar goalie. He’s talented but something is missing. He and Vanny are mere average NHL goaltenders. Our defense is soft. Easy to play against. The good this year: Kuzy, Ovie and Wilson have been dynamite. Carlson and Orlov have been solid. The 4th line has been good. Sheary has been good. McMichael has a lot of talent and a bright future. Snively looks like he can play in the NHL. Fehervary has had a solid rookie year. Mantha has looked good.

    BMac will have to pick up a few young stars somehow. We have NHLers on the farm but not much star power.

    Anyhow, it looks like a quick exit from the playoffs this year but who knows. Maybe they’ll figure something out and get a few lucky bounces. It’s not impossible.

    Tonight’s game was a joke.

    • scott sheard says:

      Wilson and ovi aren’t much neither can carry the puck more than two feet
      Orlov and Martin are dreamy.hard to evaluate a goalie on this falling apart hockey club.

  4. lfgaming says:

    This would be my lineup to start next season:




    • Jon Sorensen says:

      I like this. That bottom pairing would be a little too inexperienced for me. I’d sign a good experienced d-man this off-season and make Johansen and Alexeyev 7th and 8th defenseman.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Irrelevant. To win it all you have to be good enough to beat any team.

  6. Lewis6kids says:

    I’ve got to believe that Backstrom is going to retire after this year. He’s not the kind of guy to take all that money when he clearly can’t perform.

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      That’s a hot take that I hope is not true, but I can certainly see where you are coming from. I wouldn’t be completely shocked.

      • Lance says:

        Backstrom is an all-time Capital legend, of course. The salary cap restrictions creates crazy situations. This year we have Backstrom making over 9 million, missing half the season and when he has played has been pretty ineffective 5 on 5. His skating is labored.

        With the salary cap I don’t think there’s a solution. You just hope #19 can get his legs back in the offseason. If not, maybe he goes on LTIR until he retires.

  7. novafyre says:

    Totally uninspiring, both by players and coaches.

    The team had a terrific start to the season due to Ovi being hot (was on a 70 to 80 goal pace for a while) and great play by prospects. But we have a veteran-oriented organization. Even when vets might benefit from reduced time leading up to the playoffs, the prospects sit. Last night, Connor had under 11 minutes ice time. Backy, who had a regular scheduled maintenance day not long ago had 18. Osh had 17. Connor had no PP time nor did Dowd, Eller, Garnet, or Larsson. And we had no PP goals.

    This year is over. It is what it is. To me, the big question right now is the look of the Caps next year. Will we once again lead the NHL in aged players or will we incorporate youth? Not just under contract, not just sitting on the bench or in the pressbox, but on the ice. We need to get cheaper, we need to get younger, and I’m afraid this summer we won’t do either.

    • Lance says:

      I agree with you. I think Caps fans and management are in denial. The team has played hard this year and done well to make the playoffs. But we’re still a middle of the road team. With Backstrom’s ailments we are weak at center. Our D is soft as butter. Our goalies are average NHL goaltenders. And the team is getting elderly.

      It’s time to seriously think about rebuilding.

  8. Anonymous says:

    What a 💩 show. Good to hit the road. I expect much more from them on Thursday

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