Ovechkin Beats Isles in OT, but the Boys Still Get a Point

By John Panarese

A “bad” pass in the offensive zone by Travis Hamonic, who was in deep, and then Frans Nielsen being turned inside out by Alex Ovechkin resulted in the Islanders losing in the extra frame to the Capitals 2-1.  On top of that, Nathan Lawson was just 48 seconds away from his first career shutout in the NHL before Brooks Laich tied the game to send it to OT.

The Islanders were out shot 42-29 and, at times, Lawson had to come up big to keep them in the game, yet the guys still cannot hang their collective heads after this game.  Matt Moulson’s 28th goal in the second period gave the Islanders a 1-0 lead, and they had the home team frustrated and scoreless up until Laich’s goal.  Jack Capuano’s squad played another good, competitive game, and despite the loss, it was still an impressive effort on the road against one of the most talented teams in the league.  To me, taking the Caps to overtime and still getting a point out of the game was a good enough accomplishment.

The only “down side”, beside Lawson not getting the shutout, was the fact the Isles did blow the lead again in the third period.  It was much later in the game on this occasion, but it still was a situation in which the orange and blue could have played real spoilers.  For a young team, and one that is playing with 6 very young guys on the back line, learning to hold leads and finish a team is something that will come as time passes.  It’s a hard lesson, and a frustrating one at that.  Still, these kinds of experiences are valuable for a developing team.

Tonight, the boys are back at home to face the Wild.  Minnesota is fighting to make the playoffs, and despite Mikko Koivu being out of the lineup, you still can expect a hard fought game from them.  Will we see Lawson back in net again, or will Al Montoya return between the pipes?  We shall see.