Isles Take a Point in 2-1 Shootout Loss to the Capitals
The New York Islanders and the Washington Capitals took the ice on Thursday night in Washington D.C. for their third and final meeting of the 2012 - 2013 season. With the Islanders being victorious in the first two matchups, the red-hot Caps would take this one in a 2-1 shootout.
After the Capitals scored at the end of the first period, it wouldn't be until the end of the third when Kyle Okposo tied the game 1-1. After an incredible showcase by goaltenders Evgeni Nabakov and Braden Holtby, Alexander Ovechkin would notch the lone shootout tally to send the Isles off with only a point.
Washington's 2-8-1 start to this abbreviated season is becoming a distant memory, as the Caps are 6-2 in their last 8 and now sit atop the Southeast Division and 3rd in the Eastern Conference thanks to the Canadiens defeating the Jets 4-1 in Winnipeg's 5th straight loss.
Meanwhile, the Isles, by no means, left Washington empty handed. Gaining a point tonight put the Isles in sole possession of 7th place in the Eastern Conference with 40 points, while the Rangers and Devils still occupy 8th and 9th place with 39 points.
Caps defenseman Mike Green would score Washington's only regulation goal 13 seconds before the end of the first period. Green wristed one from the right circle through the 5-hole giving the Capitals a 1-0 lead.
The second period was a better one for the Islanders. After only getting 5 shots towards Holtby in the first period, the Isles took 14 shots on net but failed to score.
The Islanders also registered another 14 shots on net in the third, one of them being the game-tying goal 5 minutes before the end of regulation. Josh Bailey stripped the puck off Cam Ward in the Washington zone, skated hard around the net and passed to Frans Nielsen who fed Kyle Okposo cross-ice for a beautiful one-timer goal.
The shootout's only goal was scored by Alexander Ovechkin in the second round. A nifty backhand move on Nabakov would seal the deal, as Franz Nielsen, Brad Boyes, and John Tavares were stopped by Holtby who made 35 saves on the night.
Now that the Isles are in a huge 3-way battle with Atlantic Division rivals the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils for the last two spots in the playoffs, every point is worth playing for. A gritty and hard fought game by the Islanders puts them ahead for the time being.
The Islanders have 10 more games left to play this season while the Rangers have 12 and the Devils have 11. The Isles will travel to Tampa Bay on Saturday to take on the Lightning at 7pm.
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