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game recap

Chara scores, Capitals use five-goal second period to defeat Islanders

Defenseman's first with Washington helps extend team point streak to eight

by Harvey Valentine / Independent Correspondent

Chara scores first with Capitals

NYI@WSH: Chara blasts heavy slap shot into the net

Zdeno Chara winds up and cranks a slap shot that finds twine, recording his first goal with the Capitals

  • 00:41 •

WASHINGTON -- Zdeno Chara scored his first goal with the Washington Capitals, their fifth of a five-goal second period, in a 6-3 win against the New York Islanders at Capital One Arena on Thursday.

Chara, a 43-year-old defenseman, signed a one-year contract with Washington Dec. 30 after 14 seasons with the Boston Bruins. He also had an assist.

"I returned to the bench to the guys right away because I just wanted to share the joy and excitement with them," Chara said. "Since Day One, they've really done an amazing job welcoming me and making the transition as easy and simple as possible for me."

Video: NYI@WSH: Sheary buries goal from the slot

Conor Sheary scored his first two goals with the Capitals, who completed a two-game sweep and extended their point streak to eight games (5-0-3), a Washington record to start a season; they won their first seven games in 2011-12. John Carlson had a goal and an assist, and Justin Schultz and Nicklas Backstrom each had two assists. Vitek Vanecek made 27 saves.

Washington played its fourth game without forwards Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov, defenseman Dmitry Orlov and goalie Ilya Samsonov, who have sat out in accordance with NHL COVID-19 protocols.

Oliver Wahlstrom scored his first NHL goal in his season debut for the Islanders (3-4-0), who have lost three in a row. Semyon Varlamov made 17 saves.

"This is a punch in the mouth and an uppercut to the jaw, and you've just got to pick yourself up off the floor because no one else is going to do it," New York coach Barry Trotz said. "Everyone wants to pile on right now, I suspect, and we need to pull together. Sometimes when you think it gets the darkest, that's when you're closest to breaking out of it, so that's what we're going to hold on to right now."

Video: NYI@WSH: Sheary tips home second goal of the game

Trailing 3-0 at the first intermission, the Capitals scored four goals in 5:09 in the second period.

Sheary, signed as a free agent Dec. 22, made it 3-1 with a low shot from between the circles at 9:07. Sheary's deflection of a shot by Chara made it 3-2 at 10:20, and Garnet Hathaway scored from the right circle to tie it 3-3 at 11:11.

Washington took a 4-3 lead on the power play when Carlson scored on a one-timer from the left circle at 14:16.

"It's not easy with how we were set up in the game," Carlson said. "To really take over and dominate the rest of the way was a special way to win and a confidence booster, not just for tonight."

Chara made it 5-3 with a slap shot from just above the left circle at 18:30. It was his first goal since Nov. 27, 2019.

"It was pretty awesome," Capitals coach Peter Laviolette said. "I said it after the game, it was one of the coolest things I've seen in a long time with regard to a team."

Video: Top Teamwork Moment: Chara nets first goal with Caps

Wahlstrom gave the Islanders a 1-0 lead when his shot deflected off Capitals defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk at 9:50 of the first period, and Casey Cizikas redirected a shot from Cal Clutterbuck at 10:08 to make it 2-0.

Anders Lee gave New York a 3-0 lead when he scored on a rebound at 17:39, but Vanecek shut out the Islanders the rest of the way.

"We had a great start; we got to our game right away and did what we wanted to do in that first period," said Lee, the Islanders captain. "Obviously, the second period we had a pretty bad lapse and that's what turned the game around completely. At the same time, we're looking at it as plenty of hockey to get ourselves back into it, similar to how they clawed themselves back. We just weren't able to find the first one to get us going, and it turns into a bad loss."

Tom Wilson, who returned after missing two games because of a lower-body injury, scored an empty-net goal on the Capitals' only shot of the third period at 19:41 for the 6-3 final.

NOTES: Forward Josh Bailey played his 872nd NHL game, all with the Islanders, which tied him with forward Clark Gillies for fourth on their list. … Lee played his 500th NHL game, also all with New York. … Each of the Capitals' past three five-goal periods have been against the Islanders (Jan. 18, 2020 and Nov. 5, 2013). … Schultz, who has scored multiple points in three straight games (two goals, four assists), left in the third period after getting hit in the face by a shot from Islanders forward Kieffer Bellows. Laviolette said Schultz was being evaluated.

Video: Sheary nets two goals in 6-3 win vs. Islanders

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