With tactical home ice advantage switching in New York’s favor and their two game series lead the Capitals faced their biggest test of the season at Scotiabank Arena. Washington was unable to get their offense going and eventually fell in overtime 2 to 1.
Here’s Sunday afternoon’s Plus/Minus:
Plus: Braden Holtby’s performance was impressive - he bounced back nicely with a 32 save performance (.941 SP).
Minus: In a game they had to win Washington was invisible in the first (and later the third). Outshot 14 to 6 (none from the forwards), three minor penalties, and zero blocked shots.
Seven more notes on the game:
- Lots of changes to the Capitals lineup. In are Radko Gudas, Martin Fehervary, and Brian Pinho - out are Michal Kempny, Jonas Siegenthaler, and Travis Boyd.
- Anders Lee got the Islanders the first goal for the first time this series late in the first period. Lee put himself in position and demanded the puck which Adam Pelech delivered and New York lit the lamp.
- With their first man advantage opportunity the Capitals drew even in the second. Quick puck movement between John Carlson and Evgeny Kuznetsov allowed the latter to rifle a wrist shot up and over Semyon Varlamov from thirty feet away.
- Tom Wilson was held without a point for the first time in this series but his body work in front of Varlamov on Kuznetsov’s power play goal did not go unnoticed.
- In the third period Washington only registered four shots on goal (20 SOGs in regulation). Holtby had to turn aside eight from the Islanders to get to overtime.
- Four minutes into overtime Jakub Vrana put himself on a breakaway but he was denied twice by Varlamov. Mat Barzal then took the puck the other way and stuffed a backhanded shot behind Holtby for the victory.
- Pinho, a sixth round selection (174th) for Washington in 2013, made his NHL debut wearing #64. He skated eight minutes and assimilated himself as well as he could in that time.