Capitals score five unanswered, blow out Islanders in New York originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
The Washington Capitals entered Saturday night’s game in Long Island desperate for a big win. Sixty minutes later, that’s exactly what they got.
Washington turned in one of their best road performances of the season, scoring five unanswered goals to defeat the New York Islanders, 5-1, and move closer to the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference.
Saturday night’s game was a dominating performance from the visitor’s side, but things didn’t start off great for the Capitals. Center Evgeny Kuznetsov was called for a tripping penalty just 2:08 into the first period, immediately putting Washington’s penalty kill to the test. The PK unit prevented New York from finding the net, but it was clear the Islanders had early momentum after the man advantage.
Just a couple of minutes later, the Islanders were set to have another power play after Matt Irwin attempted to take a penalty to prevent an odd-man rush. Yet, the Islanders found themselves in a 2-on-1 situation on the delayed penalty and took advantage. Pierre Engvall‘s pass deflected off Capitals’ defenseman Alex Alexeyev’s skate and past Darcy Kuemper to give the home side an early one-goal lead.
New York’s lead would only last for mere seconds, however.
Less than two minutes after Engvall put the Islanders ahead, Washington answered courtesy of a Dylan Strome snipe. Capitals defenseman Rasmus Sandin set up Strome on a pretty backhand pass, giving the Capitals winger a perfect angle to fire a rocket over Semyon Varlamov’s right shoulder into the net to even the score.
After Strome tied the game, the Capitals and Islanders played relatively even hockey for much of the remainder of the first period despite Washington having a significant advantage in shots. Yet, the 1-1 deadlock was snapped with 40 seconds remaining in the period after Sandin found T.J. Oshie in front of the net for an easy tap-in to put the visitors ahead.
Oshie’s go-ahead goal marked Sandin’s second assist of the game, his third multi-point performance in four contests since joining the Capitals at the trade deadline. Sandin has totaled eight points since he arrived in Washington, the most of any defenseman in the NHL over that span.
Capitals defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk earned the secondary assist on each of the Capitals’ first two goals, adding to an already career-high in points. An impressive performance from the…
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