Islanders get road win at Washington
Islanders get a huge victory over the streaking Capitals tonight, winning 3-0. The Islanders came into the game looking to rebound from a bad game yesterday against Nashville and rebound is definitely what they did. The Capitals who have been hot of late looked like a tall test for the tired Islanders who played yesterday and had to travel to get to Washington.
The game started slow as neither team could keep possession of the puck in the offensive zone. One play that stood out to me during the early going of the period was Nabokov’s handling of the puck. He came out to handle the puck in front of the net, mishandled it and left a great chance for the Capitals. Thankfully for the Islanders they were unable to get a good shot on net and Nabokov was able to recover. Nabokov needs to work on his puck handling as it has become a problem as of late and has cost the Islanders goals at certain points.
The Islanders power play found its way to the ice at 11:17 of the first as Karl Alzner took a holding penalty. A very aggressive penalty kill from Washington didn’t seem to hurt the Islanders as Tavares was able to score. The pretty passing play started in the corner as Moulson fed the puck to Streit at the point and he delivered a hard pass that Tavares was able to deflect in. The power play again was on the ice not long after when Jeff Halpern took a penalty for tripping at 17:27 of the first. The power play looked good with a lot of puck movement and some chances but it was unable to convert. Not long after that penalty ended Jason Chimera took a bad penalty slashing Niederreiter behind the play. The penalty came late so most of the time on the power play was in the second period.
The Islanders power play started the second period and did lead to some more good chances but not to another goal. Not long into the second Milan Jurcina gave the Capitals their first power play of the game when he took an interference penalty at 2:21. Washington was only able to produce one shot on the power play which the Islanders were able to kill. The Islanders forecheck was working well all game and it paid off at 6:05 on the second when a bad pass was found by Frans Nielsen who fed it to PA Parenteau for his 8th of the season. The Islanders continued their great play throughout the second period shutting down a team that is known for its high powered offense.
One point that the Islanders need to fix is that of Nino Niederreiter; his game is continuously getting better and it is becoming very apparent that he needs better line mates for support. Wallace and Pandolfo are good hockey players but they just don’t have the offensive skills that Nino needs to help create plays.
The Islanders took two more penalties in the second with Jurcina going off for holding at 13:43, which the Islanders were able to kill. Okposo took a late penalty for tripping at 19:42 which spilled into the third period. The Islanders domination at this point in the game can be demonstrated by one simple stat; they led the Capitals in shot 18-10.
The third period bought more of the same for the Islanders as they continued to control the play. They started the period by being able to kill what was left of the Capitals power play without a problem. The Capitals pressure started to pick up in the period but the Islanders defense was up to the task. The Islanders solid play on the power play continued when Ovechkin took a penalty for a cross check at 12:10. Parenteau got his second of the game on a beautiful feed from Matt Moulson with a second helper going to Frans Nielsen. This sealed the deal for the Islanders as they were able to finish out the game holding off plenty of pressure from Washington. The Islanders played a great game defensively keeping the Capitals to only 17 shots and getting Nabokov a shutout.
Just a great all around solid team win for the Islanders with no one playing a bad game. Maybe having the fathers and mentors on the trip is some sort of good luck or motivation for the team but whatever it is, if the Islanders play like they did tonight they will be a very difficult team to beat down the stretch.
Link’s three stars of the game:
3. John Tavares: Getting another goal in this game and continuing his point streak to 10 games, Tavares was stellar as always.
2. PA Parenteau: A common problem everyone seems to talk about recently is that the Islanders need secondary scoring and PA responded with 2 goals tonight included one on the power play.
3. The Islanders Defense: I wanted to single out at least one D-man for the honor but with everyone playing great it felt acceptable to give the first star to the entire unit. The team was even able to block more shots from the net (18 blocked shots) then the Capitals were able to get to the net (17 Shots on goal)
As always thanks for reading and feel free to comment below.
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