Despite the return of starting keeper Braden Holtby, the Washington Capitals couldn’t take the lead in their series against the New York Islanders. The Islanders took a 2-1 series lead on the first game on their home ice. It was none other than John Tavares who put the game away, scoring just 15 seconds into the extra period.
The Capitals went down in the second period after New York’s Kyle Oposo got his stick on a shot from his teammate to put the puck past Holtby, the initial shot was fired by Lubomir Visnovsky. It was Oposo’s second goal of the series.
Washington rallied in the third period to tie the game at one a piece, it was Nicklas Backstrom that netted the much needed goal. Washington has shown time and time again that they aren’t discouraged one bit by going down early in a game, they seem to respond accordingly more times than not. Backstrom’s goal came with just 6 minutes left in regulation, Alex Ovechkin provided a great screen on the goal.
This was a totally different game from Game 2, it was New York that was super aggressive all game long. Matching Washington’s physicality, and it seemed like they just wanted it more at times, it being the puck. The Capitals gave the puck away ten times yesterday, which didn’t help when considering New York’s 11 takeaways. The Islanders were also more aggressive when it came to pulling the trigger, taking 42 shots to Washington’s 25.
Tavares scored off of a rebound, which points out an issue the Capitals have had at times this season. Getting the puck out of their zone, the Islanders did a good job keeping the action on that end. Similar to how Washington did in Game 2 where they got the win.
Washington will have to change a few of those trends come Game 4, but it comes down to an issue they’ve had all season. Starting fast. The Capitals must bring that same aggressiveness and intensity from Game 2, from when they were down a goal in Game 3 and keep that effort up all game long. It’s the Islanders last season in Long Island, that hasn’t been lost on the fans as they were incredibly loud in Game 3. That shouldn’t change in Tuesday’s game, one in which Washington must win if they wish to stay in this series.