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game recap

Andrew Ladd propels Islanders past Capitals

Scores twice, including tiebreaking goal in third period

by Brian Compton @BComptonNHL / Deputy Managing Editor

NEW YORK -- Things finally are starting to go Andrew Ladd's way after a rough start in his new home.

Ladd scored two goals, and Thomas Hickey and Alan Quine each had two assists to help the New York Islanders to a 4-3 win against the Washington Capitals at Barclays Center on Tuesday.


WATCH: All Capitals vs. Islanders highlights


Ladd, who signed a seven-year, $38.5 million contract with the Islanders on July 1, went the first 12 games of the season without a goal and had two in the first 24.

"When pucks start going in, your confidence is a lot higher," said Ladd, who has goals in back-to-back games and four in the past six. "You're probably looking to shoot more than you are when things aren't going your way, but I've been around long enough to know that when things start to go your way, you've got to ride that as long as you can and keep putting pucks towards the net and use that to gain confidence and really elevate your game."

Video: WSH@NYI: Ladd tips home Quine's feed for second goal

Cal Clutterbuck and Anders Lee also scored and Jaroslav Halak made 31 saves for New York (14-14-6), which has won three in a row.

Justin Williams and Alex Ovechkin each had a goal and an assist and Andre Burakovsky scored for Washington (20-9-4). Braden Holtby made 27 saves.

"When you come back after a break, you just need everybody playing well," Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. "You need to go in with a four-line mentality, and I didn't think we had all four lines going as much as I hoped."

Clutterbuck gave the Islanders a 1-0 lead 8:02 into the game when he put a rebound past Holtby after Nikolay Kulemin raced down the right wing and put a shot on goal from the circle.

Williams tied it at 13:24 after Nick Leddy coughed up the puck in the slot. Halak made an initial save on a shot by Ovechkin, but Williams stuffed the rebound between Halak's pads.

Video: WSH@NYI: Clutterbuck pokes a loose puck past Holtby

Ladd put the Islanders back in front late in the second period, but Ovechkin made it 2-2 at 1:17 of the third with his 16th goal of the season. Halak made an initial save on Williams' shot from the left circle, but Ovechkin was on the doorstep for the rebound.

Ladd scored his second goal of the game when he redirected Quine's feed past Holtby at 4:41, and Lee made it 4-2 when he scored on a breakaway 43 seconds later.

"Once you're a scorer, you're a scorer," Islanders coach Jack Capuano said of Ladd. "They're gonna come. Even last year, it came in bunches for him after Christmas. He works hard. If you continue to work hard, good things are gonna happen. He went to the net twice, that's where the goals were."

Burakovsky got the Capitals back within one with 6:55 remaining, his second goal in the past three games.

Washington had two power plays in the final 5:15 but failed to score.

"I don't think it should've gotten to that point, to be honest," Williams said. "I don't think we played well. I don't think we forechecked well. I don't think we talked well. Maybe that was because of the [Christmas] break. Whatever it was, we certainly just weren't sharp tonight. Not sharp enough to win."

Video: WSH@NYI: Williams buries rebound past Halak


Goal of the game

Ladd gave the Islanders a 2-1 lead when he took a cross-ice feed from Hickey and stuffed it past Holtby at the far post at 14:03 of the second period.

Video: WSH@NYI: Ladd finishes Hickey's cross-ice feed


Save of the game

Halak denied the Capitals early momentum when he managed to get his blocker on T.J. Oshie's shot 1:09 into the game after a turnover by Clutterbuck in the Islanders zone.

Video: WSH@NYI: Halak denies Oshie with blocker save


Highlight of the game

Lee intercepted Matt Niskanen's pass at the Capitals blue line, skated in alone and put a wrist shot past Holtby for his 13th goal at 5:24 of the third period.

Video: WSH@NYI: Lee beats Holtby five-hole on a breakaway


Unsung performance of the game

Islanders captain John Tavares is known more for his offensive production, but he played a huge role on the penalty kill in the absence of Casey Cizikas, who was out because of an upper-body injury. Washington was 0-for-4 on the power play.


They said it

"Three goals tonight that I could've stopped. It really comes down to that." -- Capitals goalie Braden Holtby


"It's about making sure that guys did everything they can to sacrifice their bodies. Your goalie's your best penalty killer, and I thought he made some big saves. Right from our goaltender, to me, [Halak] was our first star tonight. Right through our team, it was a collective effort." -- Islanders coach Jack Capuano


Need to know

Ovechkin is eight points shy of 1,000 in his NHL career. He has 33 goals in 45 career games against the Islanders. … Clutterbuck's goal was his first in 19 games.


What's next

Capitals: Host the New Jersey Devils on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CSN-DC, NHL.TV)

Islanders: At the Minnesota Wild on Thursday (8 p.m. ET; FS-N, FS-WI, MSG+, NHL.TV)


Video: Ladd, Halak lead the Isles past the Caps, 4-3

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