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game recap

Capitals score seven against Islanders, stay in first place

Maintain Metropolitan lead with goals from Oshie, Orlov, Burakovsky

by Brian Compton @BComptonNHL / Deputy Managing Editor

NEW YORK -- The Washington Capitals remained in first place in the Metropolitan Division with a 7-3 win against the New York Islanders at Barclays Center on Thursday.

T.J. Oshie (19 games), Dmitry Orlov (14 games) and Andre Burakovsky (seven games) ended scoring droughts for the Capitals (40-23-7), who have won three straight. Philipp Grubauer made 35 saves.

Washington and the Pittsburgh Penguins each have 87 points, but the Capitals have played two fewer games. The Penguins won 5-3 at the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday.


[WATCH: All Capitals vs. Islanders highlights]


"We capitalized on some opportunities," Washington coach Barry Trotz said. "I thought [Grubauer] was really strong for us tonight. We were fortunate on a couple of pucks. We had some traffic, but they seemed to go in a little bit easy. You've got people there, so it makes it tougher. I thought we had some good fortune."

Christopher Gibson allowed five goals on 12 shots for the Islanders (30-30-10), who have one win in their past 10 games (1-5-4) and are 10 points behind the New Jersey Devils for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.

"I think we controlled most of the play," New York defenseman Ryan Pulock said. "We spent a lot of time in their zone. It just seemed like every time they got in ours, they just found a way to get one. Couple deflections off a couple bodies and stuff. It's definitely frustrating."

Video: WSH@NYI: Backstrom nets loose puck in front for PPG

Orlov made it 3-2 when he deked around Andrew Ladd and scored on a wrist shot from the left face-off circle at 17:17 of the first period. Burakovsky made it 4-2 on a deflection at 3:12 of the second period. Nicklas Backstrom gave Washington a 5-2 lead with a power-play goal at 10:22.

Jaroslav Halak relieved Gibson after Backstrom's goal. Halak made eight saves.

"The first and the third goal were just OK," Islanders coach Doug Weight said. "[Gibson] had two really bad bounces. … I didn't feel bad for him, but enough's enough. It was five goals and we needed a spark. Just thought I'd get him out."

Brock Nelson gave the Islanders a 1-0 lead 2:19 into first period. Lars Eller tied it 1-1 at 10:32.

Video: WSH@NYI: Eller fires home wrist shot from the circle

Oshie's first goal since Jan. 31 gave the Capitals a 2-1 lead when he finished a 2-on-1 with Burakovsky at 11:29.

"I feel like personally I've been working pretty hard lately," Oshie said. "This last month, and for definitely these last couple of weeks here, I'm trying to get my game where it needs to go; I've been moving my feet a lot better lately. It's just nice to get rewarded tonight for some of the hard work."

Ladd scored his first goal in 26 games to make it 2-2 at 12:29. He hadn't scored since Dec. 21.

Video: WSH@NYI: Ladd nets Barzal's feed on odd-man rush

"When it goes that long, it's something you think about," said Ladd, who has 10 goals this season. "It's nice to get the monkey off the back. Hopefully from there, confidence builds and you can pop a few more."

John Carlson gave the Capitals a 6-2 lead at 15:41 of the third period. Pulock made it 6-3 at 16:33. Oshie scored his 14th of the season, into an empty net at 18:06, for the 7-3 final.

Video: WSH@NYI: Burakovsky redirects Jerabek's point shot

The Capitals host the Islanders on Friday.

"You know you're going to get a real good response; they've got a lot of good character people in that Islander dressing room," Trotz said. "We're going to have to earn everything tomorrow. I thought it came easy for us today. Some games it does, and other games you play really well and you don't get rewarded. We've played well the last little while here."


Goal of the game

Orlov's goal at 17:17 of the first period.

Video: WSH@NYI: Orlov dekes, beats Gibson from a sharp angle


Save of the game

Grubauer's save against Josh Bailey at 6:37 of the second period.

Video: WSH@NYI: Grubauer denies Bailey with a quick glove


Highlight of the game

Oshie's goal at 11:29 of the first period.

Video: WSH@NYI: Oshie roofs wrister off Burakovsky's feed


They said it

"The Islanders just gave us a lot of room to skate on from the beginning. I mean, my first three shifts, I was skating around and around and around with the puck and making plays. I mean, we didn't really expect that out of them. We were expecting a little bit harder pressure when we had the puck. But yeah, they gave us a lot of ice to skate on." -- Capitals forward Andre Burakovsky


"It's brutal. I mean, we need all these points that we can get and we outshoot them (38-22), but they just got a lot of good, quality chances. There's just small breakdowns that we shouldn't be doing." -- Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk


Need to know

Carlson's 13th goal and 56th point are NHL career-highs. He had 12 goals and 55 points in 2014-15. … Evgeny Kuznetsov surpassed 250 NHL points (251; 64 goals, 177 assists). … The Islanders have lost five of their past six games at home and have been outscored 25-15. They've allowed at least five goals 19 times this season.


What's next

Capitals: Host the New York Islanders on Friday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN1, TVAS, NBCSWA, MSG+, NHL.TV)

Islanders: At the Washington Capitals on Friday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN1, TVAS, NBCSWA, MSG+, NHL.TV)


Video: Oshie scores twice in Capitals' 7-3 win against Isles

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