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Capitals vs. Islanders Recap: The Winning Number is 718

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Ovechkin’s 718th career goal was the winner in Washington’s 3 to 1 victory over the Islanders.

New York Islanders v Washington Capitals Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images

The Islanders visited Washington looking for their tenth consecutive victory but the Capitals, led by their captain, denied that request with a 3 to 1 win.

Here’s Tuesday night’s Plus/Minus:

Plus: Alex Ovechkin’s assist was the 1,300th point of his NHL career (717G 583A). He is just the 35th player in history to accomplish the feat (and 5th European).

Minus: Nicklas Backstrom just will not let Ovechkin lead the team in goals this year.

Nine more notes on the game:

  1. Ilya Samsonov had to be sharp early and often. A pair of high danger chances from Oliver Wahlstrom and Brock Nelson were denied by Samsonov less than five minutes into the contest.
  2. Early in the second period the Capitals went shotless on their first power play opportunity. The man advantage team looked discombobulated and the Islanders survived easily.
  3. Midway through the game Evgeny Kuznetsov and Backstrom switched spots in the top six and it would pay dividends shortly after.
  4. Kuznetsov was sprong on a breakaway by Ovechkin and he shook Varlamov out of his crease. His shot unfortunately hit the far side post but it was tucked into the net by a hard charging T.J. Oshie.
  5. Ovechkin extended Washington’s lead to two less than five minutes later with his fourth power play goal of the season. Like so many defensemen before him Justin Schultz delivered the puck on a platter and Ovechkin finished the sequence with what looked like ease.
  6. The goal is the 718th of Ovechkin’s career, passing Phil Esposito for sole possession of sixth place all time on the goal scoring list.
  7. 28 seconds into the third frame Backstrom bunted a Jakub Vrana pass home for an easy power play goal from five feet out. The goal is Backstrom’s 12th of the season, tying Ovechkin for tops on the team.
  8. Wahlstrom spoiled Samsonov’s perfect game with 15 minutes to play. With Vrana in the penalty box for holding the young New York forward whipped a shot that eluded Samsonov blocker side.
  9. The regulation win vaults Washington (19-6-4) over the Islanders (19-7-4) for first place in the East division with 42 points.