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Capitals vs. Islanders Recap: Caps Waste an Opportunity, Fall 4-1

The Caps take a 1-1 tie into the third against an inferior opponent and absolutely fall apart.

New York Islanders v Washington Capitals Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

It’s been a bizarre season for the Caps when it comes to games in the “friendly” confines of Cap One Arena. For years a team that dominated on home ice, this year they’ve been just about .500 and struggled mightily in recent months. So it is with great relief that we bid farewell to the regular season’s slate of home games (and hope for better things in the playoffs) - and do so on yet another losing note, as the Caps just didn’t seem to be invested at all in beating the Islanders and as a result fell 4-1.

Here’s Tuesday night’s Plus/Minus:

Plus - The Caps scored the first goal of the game for the sixth-consecutive time and the ninth in their last 11. And... that’s about it.

Minus - Letting Casey Cizikas hit double digits in goals for the season on a blatantly bad (and a little bizarre) misplay-floater combo pack is just unacceptable, for both defender and goalie.

And now, a little appreciation for the GOAT.

A few more notes on the game:

  • The Caps were a little on their heels to start this one, an odd game plan considering this game meant a lot more to the home team than their guests. The first half of the first period was all Islanders, with the bad guys even scoring a goal (that was thankfully and correctly negated due to goaltender interference).
  • That seemed to wake up the Caps, as shortly after the goal was overturned, they took over in the Islanders’ end and after some solid zone time, got a seeing-eye puck to deflect past Ilya Sorokin courtesy of a Conor Sheary tip.
  • Of course, when you have a chance to give back momentum by taking a penalty and then allowing the Islanders’ power play to score... you’ve just gotta. Pulock from the point tied the game up at 1.
  • Related, glue the Caps’ damn sticks to their gloves, and then their gloves to their hands. Especially the goalies. Jeepers.
  • The two teams would trade interesting chances and no goals for the first half of the second, but the most eventful (read: terrifying) moment came after T.J. Oshie blocked a shot with his toe and, after gutting out the rest of his shift in obvious pain, exited the ice to the locker room. Thankfully, just a few minutes later the broadcast would catch a glimpse of Oshie returning to the bench, so... bullet dodged. We hope.
  • Through three games against the Islanders, the Caps have scored exactly 0 power play goals - the only Metro division team whose penalty kill has blanked them this season.
  • Further to that point... woof.
  • The Islanders don’t seem to have the same problem against the Caps, as they cashed in for a second time with the extra man early in the third period to take the 2-1 lead. Unlucky for the Caps and for Samsonov, as Noah Dobson’s point shot bounced in off of the leg of Trevor van Riemsdyk.
  • The lead jumped to 3-1 at the halfway mark of the third when some miscommunication behind the net between Dmitry Orlov and Ilya Samsonov resulted in a weird floater of a Casey Cizikas goal that just cannot happen at any strength, and definitely not on the power play.
  • Tough night all around for some of the team’s best defenders, with Orlov’s miscommunication joining Nick Jensen’s ankles being broken on the goal that was eventually called back (among other plays), and TvR’s leg goal as just embarrassing and uncharacteristic blunders.
  • And then it was 4-1, with Anders Lee putting the proverbial nail in the coffin on a goal that... well, Ilya Samsonov probably should’ve had.

Rematch on Thursday.