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New York Islanders 5, Washington Capitals 4 FINAL

NHL.com @NHL

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Alexei Yashin freed the New York Islanders from 61/2 years of frustration in Washington.

Yashin snapped a tie early in the third period and the New York Islanders beat the Capitals 5-4 Sunday night for their first victory in Washington since 1997.

"We haven't matched up with Washington well the last seven years," Islanders coach Steve Stirling said. "They have some skill, they have some talent. We fell behind and to come out, save a good period for the third period and hang on at the end -- that's a good win for us to get back in the win column on the road"

Yashin scooped up Mariusz Czerkawski's pass in the neutral zone, skated across the blue line and surprised Washington goaltender Olaf Kolzig with a low wrist shot at 1:09 for his 12th goal.

"I think they tried to clear to where we forecheck in the neutral zone," Yashin said. "It worked because we got the turnover. I got the opportunity to shoot the puck and I'm glad it went in."

The Islanders, who broke a two-game losing streak and a six-game road skid, had been 0-13-2 on the road against the Capitals since beating them 2-0 on March 2, 1997, at the team's former arena.

Justin Papineau, Mark Parrish, Kenny Jonsson and Czerkawski also scored for New York, which had been outscored 10-2 in two previous losses to the Capitals this season.

Robert Lang had two power-play goals, and Brian Willsie and Kip Miller also scored for Washington, which had a 1-0-2 unbeaten streak halted.

Papineau worked a give-and-go with Oleg Kvasha in the right circle, beating defenseman Rick Berry badly and scoring from close range 3:17 into the game.

Lang's first goal tied it at 14:30 of the first and Willsie's unassisted goal put Washington ahead 4:48 into the second. Willsie stole the puck from Dave Scatchard along the boards in the Islanders zone, skated between the circles and flipped in a backhander.

An interference penalty on Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro set up Miller's power-play tally for a 3-1 Capitals lead. Six seconds into the man advantage, Miller skated to the crease to convert Sergei Gonchar's pass from the left point at 6:42.

DiPietro, who allowed three goals on 12 shots, was then replaced by Garth Snow. Snow had been the starter in each of New York's previous six games. He made 12 saves on 13 shots and earned the victory.

Washington's penalty kill fell apart late in the second period, allowing New York to tie the game with a pair of power-play goals in the final 2:23.

"The power play got us back in the game, but then what happened was a specialty teams reversal," Washington coach Glen Hanlon said.

Parrish, at the left post, tipped in Shawn Bates' pass out of the left corner at 17:37, and Jonsson scored on a shot from the left point at 19:29.

After Yashin's tiebreaking goal, Czerkawski gave the Islanders a 5-3 cushion with 6:01 remaining in regulation. He swept a shot into the upper left corner of the net from the right circle for his 400th NHL point.

Lang got the Capitals within 5-4 with 1:15 left.

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