Photo: Twitter: @Capitals
The Washington Capitals downed the New York Islanders, 5-2 Monday night at Capital One Arena. The victory improves the Capitals record to 35-36-9 (79 points) on the season.
The Capitals wasted no time in this one, getting goals from Dylan Strome and Rasmus Sandin in the first 1:03 of the game for a quick 2-0 lead. Craig Smith added a tally just past the midway point of the period to give the Capitals 3-0 lead at the first intermission.
After a scoreless middle frame, the Islanders finally notched their first tally with just 5:08 remaining in regulation to make it 3-1. Tom Wilson added an empty net goal late to make it 4-1, but the Islanders answered back less than a minute later with a 6-on-5 goal to make it 4-2. Dylan Strome added an empty net goal to make it 5-2, the final.
LINES AND PAIRS
Darcy Kuemper (21-26-6, 2.84 GAA, .909 sv%) got the start between the pipes for the Capitals. Ilya Sorokin (30-21-0-7, 2.33 GAA, .925 sv%) got the start for the visiting Islanders. The Capitals starting forward lines and defensive pairs:
Conor Sheary – Dylan Strome – Tom Wilson
Joe Snively – Nicklas Backstrom – Craig Smith
Sonny Milano – Evgeny Kuznetsov
Beck Malenstyn – Aliaksei Protas – Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Martin Fehervary – John Carlson
Rasmus Sandin – Nick Jensen
Matt Irwin – Alex Alexeyev
Injuries: Left-wing Carl Hagelin (hip), right-wing Connor Brown (ACL), right-wing T.J. Oshie (upper-body), center Nic Dowd (upper-body), defenseman Trevor Van Riemsdyk (upper-body), left wing Anthony Mantha (lower-body), and captain Alex Ovechkin (upper-body)
Transactions: The Capitals recalled forward Beck Malenstyn from the AHL’s Hershey Bears on Friday and recalled Joe Snively from Hershey on Monday.
The Capitals wasted no time in denting the twine in this one. Dylan Strome (22) opened the scoring just 36 seconds into the contest, extending his consecutive games with a goal to four games. Strome has also scored the first tally in the last three games.
Dylan Strome grabs the failed clear and rips one home to break the ice for Washington just 36 seconds in!#ALLCAPS pic.twitter.com/opZTjlxO5p
— Hockey Daily 365 l NHL Highlights (@HockeyDaily365) April 10, 2023
Rasmus Sandin found the back of the net just 27 seconds later to make it 2-0 at 1:03. Craig Smith (7) and Nicklas Backstrom (13) had the helpers.
Rasmus Sandin surprises Sorokin through traffic to quickly push the Capitals lead to 2!#ALLCAPS pic.twitter.com/S4XqESEMyZ
— Hockey Daily 365 l NHL Highlights (@HockeyDaily365) April 10, 2023
The Capitals made it 3-0 on Craig Smith’s 8th goal of the season at 13:13 of the first frame. Martin Fehervary (10) had the lone helper.
Craig Smith scores against the New York Islanders to make it 3-0 #WSHvsNYI #ALLCAPS #Isles pic.twitter.com/YXuCL3wOhU
— nopClips (@nopClips) April 10, 2023
And that was it for the first frame. The Capitals led possession until the 8 min mark when Islanders began to control. The Isles lead in five-on-five shot attempts, 26-16, scoring chances, 13-7 and xGF 1.04 to .71 and led 52-48% at the dot.
The Capitals and Islanders skated to a scoreless draw in the middle frame, with the Capitals maintaining their 3-0 lead at the second intermission.
The Islanders led in five-on-five shot attempts, 25-19 in middle frame and 51-35 after 40 minutes. The Islanders led in xGF 1.90 to 1.58, and 57-43% at the dot.
The Capitals and Islanders skated to a scoreless draw for a majority of the final frame before the Islanders finally got on the scoreboard. Hudson Fasching (x) recorded the Islanders first goal at 14:52.
The Capitals answered with an empty net goal from Tom Wilson (11) at 15:44 to make it 4-1, but the Islanders struck right back less than a minute later with a 6-on-5 goal from Casey Cizikas to make it 4-2 at 16:43.
Dylan Strome added an empty net goal late to make it 5-2
The Capitals now head north to Massachusetts in advance of their tilt with the Bruins in Boston Tuesday night.
- Dylan Strome scored his 22nd goal of the season to give the Capitals a 1-0 lead. Strome has scored in four-straight games, marking the longest goal streak of his career.
- With his 22nd goal of the season, Strome has tied his single-season career high in goals (2021-22: 22).
- Strome has scored the game-opening goal in three-straight contests and has scored the Capitals’ first goal of the game in four-straight games.
- Tonight marks Strome’s 79th game of the season, which establishes a new single-season career high in games played (previously: 2018-19: 78).
- John Carlson recorded the primary assist on the Capitals’ first goal, his 19th assist of the season. Carlson has recorded seven points (1g, 6a) in eight games since returning to the Capitals’ lineup on March 23. Carlson ranks second on the team in points in that span.
- Rasmus Sandin scored his sixth goal of the season to extend the Capitals’ lead to 2-0. With the goal, Sandin has set a new single-season career high in goals (previously: 2021-22: 5g).
- Craig Smith recorded the primary assist on the Capitals’ second goal, his seventh assist of the season. Smith’s 19 points (11g, 8a) in 30 career games against the Islanders are the fifth most he has recorded against a single opponent.
- Craig Smith scored his eighth goal of the season to extend the Capitals’ lead to 3-0. It marks Smith’s second point of the period (1g, 1a). Smith is now one goal shy of 200 career goals.
So we helped Pits make the playoffs, we didn’t help our draft chances, didn’t move Ovi up the records ladder. What else did we accomplish tonight? Oh, maybe made it easier for Lavi to return next year.
Honestly after the new year i was beginning to think that management was going to bring back PL on a 2 year deal and the closer it gets to the end of the season the more I think that. I doubt that any young coach looking to start as a HC would want to be saddled with this team the next 2 years knowing that the main objective is to get Ovie a record.
Yep. For a while now I have felt that the ball is in Lavi’s court. If he wants to come back, he will.
Reading Tarik’s piece this morning, he says Lavi still has the support of key veterans but management needs to figure out why Kuzy and Mantha underperformed. I wouldn’t be surprised if their decision on those two heavily impacts what happens with the coaching.
He also says that management is considering injuries’ impact to this year’s poor season plus previous. Or excuse, reason not to blame Lavi. And ending this season on a high note will help those who want Lavi to continue.
We know that Ted does not like to bail on employees.
Dropping in the draft.
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Tough crowd. We beat the hated Islanders and it is “bad.”
I counted five flagrant penalties by NYI against the Caps that weren’t called. Two high-sticks, two interferences, and a slash. So as usual when Caps play a NYC-based team, they must defeat the opponent and the NHL front office
“Bad” in the sense of draft position. As this team is out of the playoffs people are looking for draft position not wins. Any other year this would be a good thing but not this year. Count all the flagrant penalties you want but unless the refs call them it doesn’t matter. If it had been the difference between moving up in the playoffs I agree but not now.
How did HCPL make Strome a healthy scratch this year? Idiot needs to go!
That’s easy. Strome sucked in November and December. Two goals in two months. He was on pace for a 10 goal season. You probably forget that,it’s been a while. It’s “recency bias”.
This is true. Strome responded to the benching very well (the purpose for the benching)
I was glad to see them win, it feels like a while. They looked good but the Islanders were so flat. That was disgraceful by the Isles while clawing for a playoff spot…I don’t care if our spot is 8 or 9 in the draft. Even if Caps don’t pull a top 4 pick they will be getting a prospect who probably will be the top of the prospects they have and might be good enough to play in a year or two instead of longer so we got that going for us…which is nice.
Selecting among 18-yr-olds is always risky, but historically, the odds of picking an NHL superstar below the top 5 or so in any given draft diminish pretty quickly. It happens, but not frequently — most of the superstars have been top-five picks.
Going from 8th to 9th might not seem like a big deal, and it is possible that the 9th pick turns out to be the best player in this draft — but given the quality of the top-rated kids in this draft that is HIGHLY unlikely. Bedard, Fantilli and Michkov are all considered generational players, meaning that picking at the top of this draft could help set up a franchise for success for the next 15 years. Therefore, increasing the probability of getting one of those guys (particularly Bedard) by even one percent is more important to the Caps’ future than winning any of the last 3 games which are/were essentially exhibition games except the statistics count. Put simply, winning last night’s exhibition reduced their chance of winning meaningful games in the future.
In addition, it isn’t just the first round. Picking lower in each subsequent round increases the chance of missing out on a preferred player for that round. Of course picks in the lower rounds are even more of a crapshoot, and the preferred player might not actually turn out to be the better player in the long run, but if the Caps fear their preferred guy won’t be there, they would likely be tempted to trade up (which they have done multiple times recently). Trading up usually means giving up either additional picks or young prospects… which as we know the Caps are a bit short on these days.
Given where this franchise is right now, they need several really, really good drafts to avoid long-term mediocrity (or worse). They can’t afford to trade away any picks or prospects for the next few years, and they need to pick as high as possible whenever possible to increase their odds of getting a superstar to replace Ovechkin, as well as a good-enough cohort of supporting players to provide real championship potential.
So yeah, some of us are cold-heartedly rooting for the Caps to lose and for Vancouver to win.
Wow, that was fun, right from the get-go….too bad this kind of effort wasn’t there before, but I guess it’s a good morale boost after losing 6 in a row.
And possibly cost us a draft spot