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Islanders 5, Capitals 3

by Cory Wright / New York Islanders

Jack Capuano’s line changes woke up the New York Islanders secondary scoring, as they beat the Washington Capitals 5-3, ending their six game winless streak Saturday night at Nassau Coliseum.

Islanders celebrate a goal in their 5-3 win over Washingotn.
The line of PA Parenteau, Frans Nielsen and Brian Rolston combined for seven points as the Islanders fought themselves out of an early 2-0 deficit. Parenteau and Nielsen each had a goal and two assists, including Parenteau’s game winner.

“I think a little change never hurts,” Parenteau said. “New lines were the way to go, mix it up a little bit. It worked out tonight; hopefully we can keep it going for a while.” 

Nielsen ended the Islanders 110 minute goalless drought early in the second period. Punching up the middle of the ice against four Capitals, Nielsen backhanded his own rebound through Tomas Vokoun’s five-hole. 

Brian Rolston scored his first goal as an Islander blasting a slap-shot from the top of the circle that found its way through Vokoun. Rolston’s goal tied the game at 2-2 and woke up the fans, breathing life into what was starting to become a restless crowd.

“I thought we gelled as a line real well,” Rolston said. “I thought we were responsible defensively, first and foremost and offensively we got some chances on turnovers.”

Getting bodies in front of the net led to goals by Parenteau and Matt Martin, who corralled a Milan Jurcina rebound and put the Isles up early in the third.

“We brought the puck to the net and I think when we struggled five on five for the last four or five games we got away from that,” Parenteau said.

Brooks Laich would tie the game with a powerplay goal before Parenteau’s eventual winner. John Tavares would add an empty netter for insurance.

Alex Ovechkin and Joel Ward each had goals for the Capitals, who drop to 9-3 on the season.

Rick DiPietro recorded his first win of 2011-12, stopping 25 of 28 shots. DiPietro also assisted on Tavares’s goal, his first assist since Apr. 9. Vokoun made 30 saves on 34 shots, marking the third consecutive game the Islanders put over 30 shots on net.

There was patriotism in the air on Saturday as it was Military Appreciation Night at Nassau Coliseum. The Islanders warmed up in camouflage jerseys and fans were treated to an upside down ceremonial puck drop and multiple tributes to American servicemen. The attendance for the game was 14,812.

The Islanders embark on a three game road trip beginning in Boston on Monday night.

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