NHL Game Summary - NY Islanders at Washington
(Wednesday, April 1st)
Final Score: Washington 5, NY Islanders 3
Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Mike Green scored two power-play goals in the third period, and the Washington Capitals rallied from a late deficit to capture a 5-3 win over the New York Islanders.
With the win, the Capitals eclipsed the 100-point mark for the first time since the 1999-2000 season, when the team had 102 points. With five games remaining and 101 points, the team will have an opportunity to top the team record of 107 points set during the 1985-86 campaign. Washington currently sits in second position in the Eastern Conference.
Green, with 30 goals on the season, became the eighth defenseman all-time to post a 30-goal season in his career. The last came back in 1992-93, as Kevin Hatcher scored 34 for the Capitals. The others are Bobby Orr, Ray Bourque, Paul Coffey, Doug Wilson, Denis Potvin and Phil Housley.
"I play with some of the best players in the world, so I'm very fortunate to have as many as I do," Green said. "But as long as we win that's all that matters."
Alexander Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Keith Aucoin also scored for the Capitals, who need a loss, regulation or overtime, by the Hurricanes on Thursday to clinch their second straight Southeast Division title. Jose Theodore notched his 30th win of the season with 24 saves.
Frans Nielsen had a goal and an assist, while Richard Park and Kyle Okposo each had a goal for the Islanders, who have a league-worst 59 points. Joey MacDonald made 38 saves in the setback.
Early in the third, Caps defenseman Eric Fehr turned the puck over in Washington's zone to Park, who only had the goaltender to beat. He deked to the backhand and lifted the puck over Theodore at 2:12 to put the Isles out in front, 3-2.
Green equalized the game at three later in the third on the man advantage, taking a cross-ice pass from Alexander Semin and blasting it into the open net at 10:55.
The Islanders appeared to score moments later, but goaltender interference was called on New York's Tim Jackman, and the game remained tied. Washington grabbed its first lead on the ensuing power play, as Green fluttered a puck toward the net from the point, making its way through a Tomas Fleischmann screen at 12:18, 12 seconds after the penalty was called.
MacDonald was pulled in the final moments in an attempt to tie the game, but the strategy didn't pay off, as Backstrom added an empty-net tally to seal the win.
"The first two periods we didn't give them a whole lot of time. I thought we played pretty well," MacDonald said. "We didn't let their superstars take over, and I think we got tired in the third (period). You could see that their superstars started to make plays. They entered own zone pretty easily."
Okposo got the Isles on the board first, blasting a power-play goal through Josh Bailey's excellent screen at 14:04.
New York grabbed a two-goal lead 37 seconds into the second. On a 2-on-1 rush, Nielsen took a cross-ice feed from Jeff Tambellini and redirected the puck into the net with his skate.
Ovechkin got the Caps to within one minutes later. Sergei Fedorov skated behind the net before making a nifty pass to the Russian star out in front, and he easily put into the open half of the net for his NHL-leading 54th goal at the 5:37 mark.
Just 4:17 later, Washington tied it after Aucoin got his own rebound in front and stuffed the puck through MacDonald's legs.
The Capitals improved to 31-4-3 when Ovechkin scores a goal...Washington swept the season series from the Isles, 4-0, the first time the team has won the season series since 2002-03...Ovechkin and Green each have a six-game point streak...The Isles' Mark Streit (groin) sat out the game...Ovechkin scored six goals in the four games against New York, including two in overtime...Aucoin's goal was his first of the season.
04/02 01:51:32 ET