WASHINGTON -- Nicklas Backstrom surveyed his options but when he was ready to distribute the puck near the offensive blue line, it disappeared on him. He whiffed, and it floated into the neutral zone.
Alex Ovechkin crept in from his typical spot on the power play and the puck came right to him, in a broken play no less. The goaltender scrambled, but the puck tumbled and Ovechkin wasn't able to snap off a shot before Jaroslav Halak was ready.
It was two moments in a game that featured many more, but the two best players for the Washington Capitals having their world-class skills elude them at an inopportune time because of unfortunate luck or an unpredictable hop by the puck was symbolic of the rest of this night.
Washington turned over the puck too much, missed connections on too many passes, and flubbed away too many opportunities in a 4-1 defeat against the New York Islanders on Wednesday in Game 1 of this best-of-7 Eastern Conference First Round series at Verizon Center.