Let us hope that Tavares will now go on a tear and find his playoff gear.
John Tavares can now add to his young career resume a sudden-death playoff overtime game winning goal. The past three games the MVP candidate has been pretty much invisible so far in the series. We all know if Tavares is not scoring or playing his best hockey the Isles chances of winning diminish greatly.
Hopefully this is the spark the young captain needed to get his playoff groove on. JT on an off angle shot just 15 seconds into the sudden death period put the puck past Braden Holtby.
From start to finish the crowed at the Nassau Coliseum was rocking. The fans were rambunctious, serenading Holtby, letting their presence be known. This is what the Islander players could not wait to come back to. The electric atmosphere gave the team a shot of adrenaline throughout the course of the game.
The Islanders came out and just dominated the Capitals from the opening draw. The team had the first ten shots of the game. Instantly you can see a different team on the ice from the last game where the Capitals were a much more physical. The tables turned as the Isles banged bodies, finished their checks, stepped up and made the play happen rather than wait for it.
The first goal did not come until 12:37 in the second as Kyle Okposo deflected a Lubomir Visnovsky shot. Visnovsky earlier left the ice to be reevaluated after taking a solid hit. The D-man came back out on and was a tremendous part in getting the Isles on board first.
The Islanders penalty kill was perfect killing all three penalties they faced. The Caps had a terrific opportunity at 18:40 in the second when Brian Strait was called for high-sticking. The highlight of that kill was Johnny Boychuk sprawling out to block a shot only what looked like he was going to be way out of position. Instead in a helicopter like fashion swung his stick and knocked the puck out of the zone to end the period.
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The Islanders opened up the third still on the kill which they did successfully. Throughout the afternoon Jack Capuano made sure that Boychuk was on the ice when Alex Ovechkin was. Boychuk did a heck of job handling the star forward and was the best player on the ice for the Isles all day. He kept Alex honest and frustrated him at times. Exactly what his plan was.
The Caps did find a way to tie the game at 13:54. The Isles could have either curled up in a ball and watch the Caps take control and win or man up and continue to play the solid brand of smart good hockey they did all day.
The first two periods was all Isles. The Caps found their way and owned the third which led them to tying the game. Capuano kept his team together and it only took 15 seconds for JT to score and win the game in OT.
This Islander squad responded to their fans and stepped it up. The fans recognized it and so did Washington. Now the team is somewhat in the driver’s seat. Tuesday night they have a chance at home going up 3-1, reminiscent of the 93 series.
If the Isles come out and plays sixty minutes of hockey Tuesday night like they did this afternoon then they are going to have a ton more hockey to play this season.