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Capitals vs. Islanders Recap: Caps Get Two Big Points on Ovechkin’s Big Night

A shootout win for the Caps gives them some playoff room

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It seems like weeks since the Capitals have played after they went through their Western Canadian trip, where they gathered five of six points - and the first game after a road trip is always the toughest. But with the Islanders looking to overtake them for the last playoff spot (and having a handful of games in hand), the Caps couldn’t sit back. For the most part, they didn’t - and on a historic night for their captain, the Caps grabbed an important two points.

Plus: Evgeny Kuznetsov has been killing it lately and with his two points tonight he has scored nine points his last six games. It’s no surprise the team has been doing so well lately. When he thrives, the team thrives.

Minus: It’s a real shame the Capitals couldn’t close this game out in regulation, especially after Ovechkin scored his historic goal with just five minutes left in the game to give them the lead.

A few more notes on tonight’s game:

  • The new line of Sprong-McMichael-Wilson had a couple of high danger chances to start their first shift of the game and were pretty active all night. Daniel Sprong was a healthy scratch the last four games so it was good to see him get a chance right off the bat.
  • The game was starting to get a bit sleepy until Evgeny Kuznetsov fed Anthony Mantha in front of the net for a tip that hit Semyon Varlamov and leaked over the goal line to give the Capitals a 1-0 lead.
  • The Islanders came out hot in the second period, creating a couple of dangerous scoring chances but Vanecek did what he did best and kept them out of the net.
  • Cap Killer Brock Nelson got a lucky bounce off Dmitry Orlov’s skate that went right to his stick for an open net to tie the game. Caps defensemen have to stop trying to block shots point blank and let their goalies take care of it.
  • Peter Laviolette unwisely challenged for goalie interference when it was obvious that there wasn’t enough there to over turn. The Capitals went to the penalty kill and killed it off very well.
  • Challenges continued to be their enemy when an apparent go-ahead goal by Justin Schultz went to review for offside and was very very much so.
  • The Islanders took the 2-1 lead towards the end of the second period when John Carlson got walked on an odd man rush and Kyle Palmeiri picked up a back-door tap-in.
  • Dmitry Orlov was his usual great self and created nothing from something, starting a two-on-one that led to Axel Jonsson-Fjallby’s first NHL goal. Beautiful deke by Orlov in the neutral zone that started it all and his pass was right on the tape for AJF to finish.
  • The Captain came through for the clutch goal when off the faceoff, in Ovechkin form, he gathered the puck and with a flick of the wrist sniped it top corned to give the Caps a 3-2 lead. It was also his 767th goal, moving him into third all time goals list. More history made.
  • It was a bit spoiled though as the Islanders tied the game up with the extra attacker. It always seems like the Caps can’t take the momentum on momentous occasions.
  • The Capitals had about five dangerous scoring chances in overtime but couldn’t get it done, and the two teams would head to a lengthy shootout where, thankfully, Anthony Mantha’s goal in the eighth round would hold up for the win.

Up Next: Caps head to Columbus to play a very important playoff position game Thursday at 7PM