NHL Game Summary - NY Islanders at Washington
(Thursday, December 4th)
Final Score: Washington 5, NY Islanders 2
Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Alexander Ovechkin had a goal and two assists and Donald Brashear's first goal of the year represented the game- winner as the Washington Capitals defeated the New York Islanders, 5-2, at the Verizon Center.
Eric Fehr's third-period goal gave the Caps some breathing room while Viktor Kozlov and Nicklas Backstrom also scored as Washington snapped a two-game losing streak and improved to 10-1-1 at home this season.
Brent Johnson made 27 saves to pick up the win for the Caps, who were coming off their first home regulation loss of the season. Washington, had picked up wins in six of its previous seven contests prior to its latest 3-5-0 streak and still leads the Southeast Division with 31 points.
"He's the leader of the team," Caps head coach Bruce Boudreau said of Ovechkin's play. "The leader sees everything else around him not functioning the way he would like it. He's got to be the one that stands up and says get on my back and follow me."
Mark Streit and Trent Hunter lit the lamp for the Islanders, who have now lost three of their last four games. Joey MacDonald allowed four goals and was assaulted with 46 shots in the loss.
Thursday's loss marked the beginning of stretch where the Isles are playing five of six and seven of their next nine games on the road. New York is 5-6-1 as the visitor this year and had won three of its last four tests away from Long Island.
"I felt today we didn't skate. That's a big part of our game," Streit said. "If you don't skate we have trouble to be in position to play our system."
The Isles turned the puck over in their own zone and Brashear ended a scrum for the puck in front by swiping in a backhand shot to net his first of the year 6:50 into the third, giving Washington the lead.
The Caps gave themselves some breathing room, netting an insurance goal on the power play with 3:46 left. Ovechkin fired one on net from the high slot with MacDonald leaving the rebound right in front. Brooks Laich swatted back two attempts and the puck scooted out to the left where Fehr swooped in and buried the rebound.
New York pulled the goaltender with 1:11 left but Backstrom scored on the empty net to seal the win.
The Caps started things off with a power play goal in the first. Ovechkin lifted a wrister under the left arm of MacDonald from the left circle to give Washington the lead with 8:29 left in the period.
It was a 2-0 advantage less than two minutes later as the Isles gave the Caps another power-play opportunity that they quickly cashed in. Bryan Helmer let fly a wrister from the right point and Kozlov deflected the disc on the way in for his fifth of the year.
New York got one back inside the final minute of the first, capitalizing on its own power-play chance with Streit's slapper from the high slot finding its way through traffic. MacDonald did well to keep the deficit at one for New York as the Caps peppered the netminder with 17 first-period shots.
The Islanders appeared to even the score about five minutes into the middle stanza when Chris Campoli's dump-in along the left boards took a wild carom off a linesman's skate and past a befuddled Johnson, who had started to skate towards the corner to play the puck. The goal was waived off, though, due to the linesman interfering on the play.
Hunter then did even the score with 6:22 remaining, taking a cross-ice pass from Andy Sutton at the right circle before skating in and firing a shot over the far shoulder of Johnson.
The Isles had won three straight in this series but have still notched wins in seven of the last 10 encounters between the clubs...New York also had a three- game winning streak in Washington come to an end Thursday...New York converted on only 1-of-8 power-play chances while Washington made good on 3-of-5 ...Hunter's goal was his 11th this season...Ovechkin's score was his 14th this season...The Caps recalled forward Keith Aucoin from Hershey of the American Hockey League earlier Thursday and reassigned forward Graham Mink to Hershey. The 30-year-old Aucoin is the current AHL leader in points (36) and assists (27) and has gathered 469 AHL points in 459 career games...Ovechkin left the game for a brief time in the first period after taking a stick to the upper- body but was back for the second period.
12/04 22:43:08 ET