Isles shut down Caps in 3-0 victory
Tuesday, 01.17.2012 / 9:26 PM
One day after a slow start cost them in a loss to Nashville, the New York Islanders
turned in a complete 60-minute effort against the Washington Capitals
had the first multiple-goal game of his career and Evgeni Nabokov
stopped 17 shots as the Islanders beat Washington 3-0 on Tuesday night, ending the Caps' seven-game winning streak at the Verizon Center.
The Islanders allowed three goals in less than 12 minutes against Nashville on Monday and wound up with a 3-1 loss. Coach Jack Capuano said his team was ready to go from the opening faceoff against the Caps, who had been 5-0-2 against New York at home since Oct. 18, 2007.
"After last night's game, it was good to come back out and have a good effort here tonight," Capuano said.
Nabokov, who earned his 300th career victory by beating Buffalo on Saturday, earned his 51st NHL shutout -- and his first since beating Dallas 3-0 on March 25, 2010, as a member of the San Jose Sharks. It was the first shutout of the season for the Islanders, who have used five goaltenders in 2011-12. The shutout was New York's first ever in the Verizon Center, and the Isles' first in the nation's capital since a 2-0 victory on March 2, 1997.
"I think we were sharp from start to finish tonight," said Parenteau, who scored off a second-period giveaway and added a power-play goal in the third. "We didn't give them many looks. We played a really strong game defensively and that's where it starts. We got our chances on offense, and they took some penalties on us and we capitalized."
The Caps, who had won their last three games overall, were limited to 30 or fewer shots on goal for the 15th consecutive game and missed a chance to pass Florida for first place in the Southeast Division. The 17 shots on goal matched the Caps' season low.
"I don't know why, but I think all four lines don't have energy," captain Alex Ovechkin
said. "We don't make hits in the first period, just play casual."
The Islanders came out energized, pushed the tempo and were able to capitalize on their first power play. John Tavares
extended his point streak to 10 games with a perfect deflection of Mark Streit
's slap pass at 12:05, 48 seconds after Karl Alzner
was called for holding Kyle Okposo
. It was Tavares' 17th goal of the season; he has six goals and 11 assists during his streak, the longest by an Islander since Mark Parrish had points in 10 straight games in the early stages of the 2001-02 season.
The Isles dominated the rest of the period, outshooting the Caps 10-5 and forcing Tomas Vokoun
into a handful of good saves to keep the margin at one goal.
"I thought we were skating well early, but so were they," Caps coach Dale Hunter said. "We gave up two or three mistakes, and they cost us."
One of those mistakes, a giveaway by rookie defenseman Dmitri Orlov, turned into the Islanders' second goal. Orlov's careless clearing pass didn't make it out of the Caps' zone near the left wing blue line. Frans Nielsen
grabbed the errant pass and dropped a feed for Parenteau, who used John Carlson
as a screen before snapping a shot past Vokoun from the left circle at 6:05.
Washington managed only five shots in the second period, though the Caps did pick up their play later in the period -- they had three power plays in the middle period, one that carried into the third, but were unable to put the puck past Nabokov.
"I thought we did a good job defending tonight," Capuano said. "We did a good job with positioning, and I thought our sticks were really good tonight -- we had active sticks. Nabby made some saves when he had to."
Nabokov made perhaps his best stop of the game 5:27 into the third when he denied Ovechkin from the slot after the latter raced down the left wing and cut to the middle before firing from about 25 feet.
"Guys like that are going to get their opportunities," defenseman Travis Hamonic
said of Ovechkin. "When they had those opportunities, Nabby played each situation perfectly and he's really kicking it now in net for us."
The Isles added an insurance goal with 7:22 remaining when Parenteau fired a feed across the slot by Matt Moulson
into a wide-open net with Ovechkin in the box serving a boarding penalty.
"We got some key goals on our power play tonight," said Capuano, whose team went 2-for-6 with the extra man.
Vokoun finished with 25 saves while losing a home game to the Islanders for the first time in 11 career decisions.
"It wasn't the goaltending that was the problem," Hunter said. "We made mistakes on the PK, and when you make mistakes on the [penalty kill], they're going to wind up in your net."
Material from team media was used in this report.