FINAL
PHI
2
BOS
5
FINAL
COL
4
STL
0
FINAL SO
WSH
4
NYI
3
FINAL
WPG
4
TOR
2
FINAL
DET
3
MTL
5
FINAL
DAL
5
TBL
2
FINAL
OTT
3
NYR
2
FINAL
NJD
3
CAR
1
FINAL
PIT
0
MIN
4
FINAL
LAK
1
VAN
2
FINAL
NSH
3
SJS
0

Capitals rally, end five-game skid with shootout win

NHL.com | Saturday, 04.05.2014 / 9:37 PM

The Washington Capitals ended a five-game losing streak with a 4-3 shootout win against the New York Islanders on Saturday at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Evgeny Kuznetsov scored in regulation and the only goal in the shootout, and goaltender Braden Holtby made 35 saves plus three stops in the tiebreaker for Washington, which remains in contention for an Eastern Conference wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"I don't think there's any mental relief, we have a hefty job to do still," Holtby said. "So I think that's one step that we needed to do, and we have to keep building, have to keep finding a way to win games like we did tonight."

It was the Capitals' fifth shootout in their past eight games; they have won twice. Washington (35-30-13) is two points behind the Columbus Blue Jackets in a five-team wild card chase with four games to play.

"I think the only thing we can worry about is ourselves," Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom said. "We have to try to win all the games that we have left. We can't control anything else. Whatever happens with the other teams, if they win or lose, we can't control it. Just focus on us."

The Islanders have not lost in regulation in their past seven games (5-0-2).

Some fortunate bounces allowed the Capitals to tie the game 3-3 in the second period.

Alex Ovechkin misfired at an open net with goalie Evgeni Nabokov down on the ice and out of position, but the puck struck Islanders defenseman Calvin de Haan and ricocheted right to Backstrom, who scored with 7:15 left.

De Haan was injured on the play, helped off the ice, but returned in the third period. He took two shifts in the third, then left.

A puck that was ping-ponging off players in the Islanders zone wound up on the stick of Joel Ward in the slot, and his shot through Nabokov's legs evened the score with 4:59 remaining.

"We scored two quick ones there, that was important for us, so we could get our confidence back up," Backstrom said.

The Capitals were outshot 17-8 in the first period playing less than 24 hours after a 2-1 loss at the New Jersey Devils.

"We definitely played better last night, a lot sloppier tonight," Washington coach Adam Oates said. "I think fatigue factor, not even a whole day's rest, and they had two days off. ... It was sloppy, but if anything I thought our third period was probably the best in terms of eliminating chances."

The Islanders took a 3-1 lead 9:55 into the second against Holtby, who was making his third start since March 6.

"I thought he was good early, obviously in the second a couple shaky ones, but then he was great in the third and great in the shootout," Oates said.

The Islanders scored 12:55 into the game when forward Casey Cizikas beat Capitals defenseman Tyson Strachan to Michael Grabner's soft dump in behind the net. As Cizikas skated behind the cage, he backhanded a pass in the opposite direction right to Cal Clutterbuck, who swiped it in for his 12th goal of the season.

Holtby stopped a shorthanded breakaway by Clutterbuck less than three minutes later.

"Your job as a goalie is to keep your team in the game when there's some chances," Holtby said. "I thought we did a fairly good job. It was very impressive that we came back from being down. It was good to see."

An errant shot by Washington resulted in its first goal and a tie game 2:36 into the period. Kuznetsov sent a pass cross ice to Marcus Johansson, whose shot missed the net but turned into a perfect pass back to Kuznetsov, who took advantage of a helpless Nabokov for his third goal of the season.

It was his 13th game since arriving from the Kontinental Hockey League on March 10.

"I still feel he's still learning so much in terms of the pace of our play, the kind of game we play, the physicalness of it," Oates said. "And I thought tonight the Islanders' skating might help get him to skate a little bit more."

New York scored twice in a 5:39 span. John Persson got the first goal of his NHL career upheld by video review at 4:16. His backhand into Holtby seemed to be kept out, but Holtby's movement allowed it to trickle over the goal line before the whistle was blown.

"I wasn't sure what was going on," said Persson, who played his fifth NHL game. "I just fired it and then I went around the net; I wasn't even sure what he was reviewing. Obviously, I didn't want to celebrate too early, but it was nice to see it go in."

Frans Nielsen then scored from almost on top of the faceoff dot to Holtby's left, converting a power-play pass from Josh Bailey at 9:55. Bailey extended his point streak to four games.

Grabner, who returned from a concussion to play for the first time since March 10, took his last shift with 6:04 left in the first period.

Capitals defenseman Mike Green did not play the final two periods because of an upper-body injury that will be evaluated Monday. Washington next plays Tuesday at the St. Louis Blues.

Scoring Summary
1st Period
12:55NYI Cal Clutterbuck (12) ASST: Casey Cizikas (10), Michael Grabner (14) 1 - 0 NYI
2nd Period
02:36WSH Evgeny Kuznetsov (3) ASST: Marcus Johansson (34), Troy Brouwer (18) 1 - 1 Tie
04:16NYI John Persson (1) ASST: Travis Hamonic (14), Calvin de Haan (13) 2 - 1 NYI
09:55NYI PPG - Frans Nielsen (24) ASST: Josh Bailey (26), Matt Donovan (12) 3 - 1 NYI
12:45WSH Nicklas Backstrom (15) ASST: Alex Ovechkin (25), John Carlson (24) 3 - 2 NYI
15:01WSH Joel Ward (23) ASST: NONE 3 - 3 Tie
3rd Period
NONE
OT Period
NONE
Shootout
1NYIFrans Nielsen - Save
2WSHEvgeny Kuznetsov - Goal
3NYIRyan Strome - Save
4WSHMikhail Grabovski - Save
5NYIBrock Nelson - Save
Shootout Summary
RNDNew York IslandersWashington Capitals
1Frans NielsenEvgeny Kuznetsov
2Ryan StromeMikhail Grabovski
3Brock Nelson
Three Stars of the Game
Joel Ward
1st
G: 1Shots: 2
A: 0Hits: 3
PTS: 1PIM: 0
+/-: 0TOI: 15:45
Nicklas Backstrom
2nd
G: 1Shots: 5
A: 0Hits: 1
PTS: 1PIM: 0
+/-: 0TOI: 21:12
John Persson
3rd
G: 1Shots: 2
A: 0Hits: 2
PTS: 1PIM: 0
+/-: 0TOI: 10:18
Penalty Summary
1st Period
02:51NYI Mike Halmo  Fighting (maj) against  Tom Wilson
02:51WSH Tom Wilson  Fighting (maj) against  Mike Halmo
02:51WSH Tom Wilson  Boarding against  Mike Halmo
02:51NYI Mike Halmo  Roughing against  Tom Wilson
05:03NYI Ryan Strome  Hooking against  Eric Fehr
13:30NYI Calvin de Haan  Slashing against  Mikhail Grabovski
16:17WSH Tyson Strachan  Holding against  John Persson
2nd Period
06:25NYI Mike Halmo  Interference against  Julien Brouillette
08:32WSH Alex Ovechkin  Roughing against  Casey Cizikas
18:32NYI Matt Carkner  Interference against  Aaron Volpatti
19:11WSH Troy Brouwer  Slashing against  Kevin Czuczman
3rd Period
15:20NYI Travis Hamonic  Hooking against  Joel Ward
OT Period
NONE
shots by period
PeriodWSHNYI
1st817
2nd98
3rd811
OT42
Total2938
Team Stats
CategoryWSHNYI
Power Plays0/51/3
Hits3138
Faceoff Wins3032
Giveaways89
Takeaways312
Blocked Shots1623
Penalty Minutes1317
  • WASHINGTON
  • NY ISLANDERS
#skatersPosGA+/-SPIMTOI
8A. OvechkinR0104223:14
16E. FehrR00-11015:59
19N. BackstromC1005021:12
20T. BrouwerR0112220:35
23T. StrachanD0000224:15
24A. VolpattiL000109:22
25J. ChimeraL0002012:59
27K. AlznerD0010020:36
42J. WardR1002015:45
43T. WilsonR000278:27
52M. GreenD000007:38
59J. BrouilletteD00-20015:19
74J. CarlsonD0114030:07
81D. OrlovD0020024:02
83J. BeagleR0002011:28
84M. GrabovskiC0011018:08
90M. JohanssonC0121021:47
92E. KuznetsovC1002013:46
#GoaliesSvSASv%TOI
70B. Holtby3538.92164:58
#skatersPosGA+/-SPIMTOI
3T. HamonicD0113228:04
7M. CarknerD00-22211:20
12J. BaileyL0102020:45
13C. McDonaldR00-21015:43
14T. HickeyD00-11026:21
15C. ClutterbuckR1017018:04
17M. MartinL00-13013:39
18R. StromeC00-12219:10
24K. CzuczmanD0012022:07
27A. LeeC00-11015:39
29B. NelsonC0012015:44
40M. GrabnerR011104:35
43M. HalmoL000097:37
44C. de HaanD0100215:05
46M. DonovanD01-13024:39
51F. NielsenC10-15021:45
53C. CizikasC0101019:25
56J. PerssonL1002010:18
#GoaliesSvSASv%TOI
20E. Nabokov2629.89765:00