Isles end Capitals' winning streak with 4-3 OT win
Tuesday, 08.16.2011 / 5:16 AM
The New York Islanders
finally found a way to beat the Washington Capitals
blasted home a pass from John Tavares
53 seconds into OT on Friday night to give the Islanders a 4-3 victory at the Verizon Center, ending the Capitals' six-game winning streak. Tavares, who had hit the post earlier in the game, circled the net before wheeling a pass into the slot, where Streit stepped into the shot and beat Jose Theodore.
"It's nice to be able to contribute," the No. 1 pick in the Entry Draft last June said. "When you can make a play to win the game and get it to one of your best players, who can score on any given shot, that's a play you try to make."
It was revenge of a sort for the Isles, who wasted a 2-0 third-period lead and lost 3-2 in overtime to the Capitals on Oct. 24 -- the third time in their four previous meetings that the Caps (8-2-3) had won in overtime.
"That was a tough one for us Saturday," Tavares said. "They beat us in our own rink -- we got a couple of unlucky bounces. But we bounced back and got a good win against New York the other night and we were able to carry it through."
The Islanders (3-4-5) played their seventh overtime game this month, tying the 1986 Rangers and the 2001 Boston Bruins for the most OT games in October. They won for the second game in a row after winning just one of their first 10.
"It was nice to win one in overtime," Islanders coach Scott Gordon said. "It was a big two points for us against a team that's playing pretty good hockey."
Dwayne Roloson allowed an early goal to Alex Ovechkin
-- his fifth in three games -- but stopped all 18 shots he faced in the third period and finished with 37 saves, including six against No. 8, who missed the net on four other tries and had four more blocked.
"We did a good job keeping him away from the middle of the ice," Gordon said. "We know he's going to get his shots, but it's where they come from that's important. I think he might have been a little frustrated."
Washington coach Bruce Boudreau said his team played better than it did in Thursday night's 4-3 win at Atlanta.
"For a team playing its third game in four nights, I thought we played pretty good," he said. "I thought tonight was a lot better than last night."
Boudreau also had kind words for the Islanders.
"They work and they're a good team," he said. "I think they've lost just one of their last six in regulation, and if they don't get injuries, they're going to be a team to be reckoned with in that (Atlantic) division."
Ovechkin and the Capitals started the night as if they'd fill the net. Washington controlled the puck for most of an early four-minute power play before their big gun blasted a straightaway 45-foot slapper that leaked through Roloson and into the net at 4:41. It was his 14th goal of the season and October, matching March 2008 as the best month of his career.
But Kyle Okposo
, whose high-sticking double minor gave Washington the long power play, pulled the Islanders even at 10:37. Brendan Witt picked off a pass in his own zone and fed Okposo near the red line. Okposo drove into the Caps' zone and beat Jose Theodore with a 30-foot snap shot from the high slot.
Theodore bailed out his defense in the early seconds of the middle period, stopping Richard Park after a giveaway in his own zone. But Frans Nielsen
made the Caps pay for Mike Green
's whiff, picking up the loose puck and quickly roofing the puck at 7:12.
"Mike just overskated it," Boudreau said. "That wasn't a mental mistake -- it was a physical mistake that can happen to anyone."
That goal seemed to inspire the Caps, who tied it at 8:50 when Roloson flubbed a wraparound pass, handing the puck to Chris Clark. Tomas Fleischmann jammed Clark's pass behind Roloson, who never got set, to draw the Caps even. It was his first goal of the season.
Fleischmann got his second and put Washington back in front at 16:43 when he outbattled Radek Martinek for position during a power play and stuffed in the rebound of Green's point shot. But the lead lasted just 67 seconds before Nielsen took Streit's pass from the left point, whirled into the high slot and beat Theodore with a low wrist shot through traffic.
Fleischmann was playing only his second game of the season after missing four weeks with a deep vein thrombosis in his leg.
"He's just starting to get his legs back," Boudreau said. "He's going to be a great weapon to have. I think he was the reason the power play was clicking."
Both teams had chances in the first half of the third period. Roloson made the best save with 12:18 remaining when he gloved and held a 10-foot backhander by Nicklas Backstrom
, who had been left all by himself. Theodore preserved the tie with just over five minutes remaining when he dove across the crease to stop a wide-open Sean Bergenheim.
-- John Kreiser, NHL.com
Material from team online and broadcast media was used in this report