Washington Capitals Take Down New York Islanders, 4-1; Protas, Dowd Score First Goals Of Season

Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images

The Washington Capitals downed the New York Islanders by a score of 4-1 at UBS Arena on Saturday night. The team improved to 6-1-1 in their last eight games and is 7-4-2 overall this season. Goaltender Hunter Shepard made 36 saves in the victory.

Washington leapfrogged the New Jersey Devils (who has played the same number of games as Washington) by for third place in the Metropolitan Division and are now three points ahead of New York (same number of games as Washington) and the Philadelphia Flyers (with a game in hand).

Washington’s Lines

Alex Ovechkin – Evgeny Kuznetsov – Tom Wilson
Sonny Milano – Dylan Strome – T.J. Oshie
Aliaksei Protas – Connor McMichael – Matthew Phillips
Beck Malenstyn – Nic Dowd – Nicolas Aube-Kubel

Alexander Alexeyev – John Carlson
Rasmus Sandin – Nick Jensen
Hardy Häman Aktell – Lucas Johansen

Charlie Lindgren

Scratched: C Hendrix Lapierre

Injuried: LW Anthony Mantha (upper-body), D Trevor Van Riemsdyk (lower-body), D Joel Edmundson (hand), LW Max Pacioretty (Achilles), C Nicklas Backstrom (hip), G Darcy Kuemper (undisclosed), D Martin Fehervary (undisclosed)

New York’s Lines

Mathew Barzal – Bo Horvat – Simon Holmstrom
Pierre Engvall – Brock Nelson – Kyle Palmieri
Anders Lee – Jean-Gabriel Pageau – Hudson Fasching
Matt Martin – Casey Cizikas – Cal Clutterbuck

Sebastian Aho – Noah Dobson
Alexander Romanov – Ryan Pulock
Samuel Bolduc – Scott Mayfield

Semyon Varlamov
Ilya Sorokin

Scratched: RW Julien Gauthier, RW Oliver Wahlstrom

Injured: D Adam Pelech (lower-body)

First Period


9:18, 1-0 Washington: Ovechkin wristed a shot between Varlamov’s right pad and glove off of a faceoff win by Kuznetsov. The Capitals have scored the first goal in four-straight games. Kuznetsov has registered three points in his last two games.

19:17, 1-1: After Shepard turned the puck over behind the net, Jensen blew a wheel and the puck went to Horvat below the goal line. He threw it to Romanov in front and Romanov buried a wrist shot into an open goal.

Shots: 12-7 New York

Other Notable Stats: 8-6 New York in blocked shots

Graph: Natural StatTrick

Second Period


13:05, 2-1 Washington: After Varlamov came out of the goal to make a save, he dove to make another on Aube-Kubel, who starred down a wide open net at the left post, with his glove. Dowd went right to the cage to bat one out of mid-air into an open net. Aube-Kubel has three points in two games since being recalled from the AHL’s Hershey Bears.

19:20, 3-1: Protas hammered a one-timer up close after Philipps stripped the puck from behind the net and set Protas up in front of the net. Both Protas and McMichael, who earned the secondary assist, tallied their third point (two assists) in their last three games.

Shots: 22-21 Washington, including 15-9 in the second period

Other Notable Stats: 16-9 Washington in blocked shots, 9-9 in hits, Washington had won 58% of faceoffs through 40 minutes.

Third Period


19:57, 4-1 (ENG): Ovechkin wristed a shot from the blueline after getting a pass from Washington’s zone.

Shots: 37-28 New York (including 16-6 in the third)

Other Notable Stats: 30-11 Washington in blocked shots, 17-17 in hits

Next game: Tuesday vs. Vegas Golden Knights (7 PM ET, Monumental Sports Network 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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19 Responses to Washington Capitals Take Down New York Islanders, 4-1; Protas, Dowd Score First Goals Of Season

  1. Anonymous says:

    Caps are on fire!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Go Caps!

  3. Diane Doyle says:

    Good gritty win for the Caps, especially with all the injuries. Ovi out of his scoring slump and goals for Protas and Dowd. Guess the kids on defense aren’t so bad after all.

  4. GR in 430 says:

    I’m sorry to have to write this, but this resurgence coincides with Backstrom stepping away — though for the last 2 games it has also helped that Dowd is back. The bottom two lines are really making a huge difference, and that really reflects well on the kids who won the Calder Cup last spring. Malenstyn, McMichael and Protas aren’t fancy players, but they have been very effective.

    And the kid defenders also did really well, with a lot of help from the forwards, for a change.

    And, grudgingly, I have to admit that Kuznetsov has been very good for the past week or so. Here’s hoping that continues.

    • Bob says:

      No kuemper.

    • John says:

      I actually expected the team to improve without Backstrom. It was painfully obvious he couldn’t keep up with the speed of the game, and he knew that. He still has his skill, but physically he’s lost a lot of juice. His absence has allowed the necessary personnel changes to make the team more competitive.

      • DWGie26 says:

        Yes, we had to let it play out. Sad Backstrom can’t go, but he now step aside and Caps some flexibility. I like that we are dipping into Hershey. Like NAK back up. He shouldn’t go back down.

  5. Jon Sorensen says:

  6. Anonymous says:

    Lets talk cap space and trades… Pat Kane?

    • Anonymous says:

      Looking for Backstrom 2? I would do the opposite in looking to trade Kuemper and not for a player but for picks! Then see if anyone would be interested in Oshie and Carlson. On a take again look: I have never seen Ovie huffing and puffing like he was in the 3rd period tonight, is 38 catching up in terms of endurance? Back-to-back nights too much? Or maybe over 1 minutes last night and 18 tonight too much. Did he take 2 or 3shots on the empty ned tonight and did he take anylast night?

      • Anonymous says:

        Over 21 minutes last night….sorry .

      • Anonymous says:

        Carlson remains a player that is integral to the Caps success. He does 99.9% of things right but for some odd reason, there’s this focus on the .1%. The grass is always greener phenomenon. Usually it works out the opposite way.

    • rotating-earth says:

      absolutely NO!

  7. Dave says:

    “The team improved to 6-1-1 in their last eight games and is 7-4-2 overall this season.”

    Hmmm…yes, it’s early. Yes, there are still some significant issues (taking care of the puck in the d-zone, the big dogs not scoring consistently, inconsistent goaltending, etc). But they seem to be finding ways to win.

    Is it possible that we not gonna be suck this year?!

  8. Anonymous says:

    The Isles were dominant, were all over the Caps right until that second Caps’ goal in the bottom of the second. Defense, being newly construed, was often choppy in front of the net, and the Caps could barely think about offense. And yet, Shep and the team huddling in front of him, frantically trying to clear the zone, hung on. And then something happened just before that second goal. Strome started taking control and trying to push play toward the Isles’ net. And then this breakout resulting in Dowd’s goal turned things around for a while. Then the Caps added another, and the Isles took a gut punch. After they shrugged it off, things became hectic again in the third. But again, Shep and the team scrambling in front of him did the trick. I think the Caps gave up possession way too much for long stretches of the game, even with it being the second half of a back-to-back. But all’s well that ends well. It seems we’re starting to get something going with all four lines. Amazing to see where the Caps are in the standings now!

  9. Anonymous says:

    The Caps could be on a 5 game win streak, and the Pens in a 5 game losing streak, and The Athletic would still have Caps ranked 30th, and the Pens 15th. Penguins bias still rules hockey media

  10. Greg Findlay says:

    Now that we have some cap space NAK needs to remain on the 4th line! His skill set fits our 4th line perfectly. I think that the only reason he was sent to Hershey was his hit on the cap. Lappy and Phillips are not physical grinders, and Protas will do better as a 3rd line guy. Keep it up boys!

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