HOW IT HAPPENED
Alexander Ovechkin opened the scoring and added an empty netter as the Washington Capitals sent the New York Islanders to their fourth straight loss with a 4-1 win at UBS Arena on Saturday night. Nic Down broke a 1-1 tie in the second period, and Aliaskei Protas sent the Caps to the dressing room with a two-goal lead when he scored with just 40 seconds remaining in the period. Hunter Shepard made 36 saves in his second NHL start for Washington. Alexander Romanov had the Islanders goal, and Semyon Varlamov made 34 saves in the loss.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
After building newfound confidence in recent games and scoring two short-handed goals, Simon Holmstrom was elevated back to the top line alongside Bo Horvat and Mathew Barzal. The line clicked better than they did to start the season and did enough to where you would expect them to remain together when the road trip starts in Edmonton. "He was great. I'm a really big fan of Holmstrom's game overall," said Horvat. "He just creates so much opportunity for everyone else out there, he makes everyone around him better. He's a treat to play with."
WHAT WENT WRONG
The Islanders didn't play an awful game and you can argue they played much better tonight than when they shut out the Capitals in DC. Yet, for all the shot attempts they had they failed to get enough traffic in front of an inexperienced goaltender that was leaving rebounds throughout the night.
There was a bad line change that aided the Caps second goal and the power-play missed an opportunity to take the lead at the start of that period, but there was plenty of time for the team to come back, yet they just couldn't break through and finish, a long-standing trend of this group.
“We have some decisions that are made, and some errors that are made, that are really costing us,” Lambert said. “When you make these mistakes, you find yourself on the losing end.”
STATS OF THE GAME
The Islanders had 95 shot attempts on Saturday night, although less than half, 37 made it through to Hunter Shepard, who won his second consecutive game in his second career NHL start. The 95-shot attempts were the most for the Islanders since Apr. 11, 2015, the final regular season game at the Nassau Coliseum. They lost that game in a shootout to the Columbus Blue Jackets, which gave Barry Trotz and the Capitals home-ice advantage in their first-round playoff match-up.
SOCIAL MEDIA MOMENT OF THE GAME
A fun segment getting to know Stan Fischler's granddaughter Odel, a member of the UBS Arena ice-crew this season.
The Islanders begin a four-game road trip in Edmonton against the struggling Oilers.
Face-off is set for 8:30 PM EST.