The New York Islanders defeated the Washington Capitals in Game 1 of the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a score of 4-2. The Capitals defeated the Islanders in seven games during their last playoff meeting in 2015. Here is the recap between the Islanders and Capitals.
This was all Capitals during this period. They were especially effective during their power plays getting some of their best scoring chances. However, Islanders goaltender Semyon Varlamov kept the game scoreless as he was the Islanders’ best defender this period. The Capitals also outshot the Islanders 7-2 showing how lethal their offensive game is.
The game was tied at zero heading into the second period.
The Islanders seemed to have woken up for this game as they started off strong during the first five minutes of the period. However, the Capitals’ power play gave the team the first goal of the game. The puck took a weird bounce off of Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech’s skate and the end boards into the stick of Capitals forward T.J. Oshie’s stick who scored the goal. Oshie again scored on their final power play of the game to extend the lead to two. However, the Islanders fought back and forward Jordan Eberle scored with 1:03 left in the period to cut the lead to one.
Washington went into the third period with a 2-1 lead.
If the Islanders weren’t fully awake last period, they definitely were this period. They scored three unanswered goals to make a comeback and gained a two goal lead. Islanders captain Anders Lee started the scoring 51 seconds into the period to tie the game. However, the Capitals also had their fair share of scoring chances after Lee’s goal. But, Varlamov came up big to keep the game tied at two.
Islanders forward Josh Bailey scored shorthanded to get the team’s first lead of the game and forward Anthony Beauvillier scored to extend the lead to two. The Capitals would pull out goaltender Braden Holtby in the final minutes of the game but they weren’t able to get a goal past Varlamov.
New York won the game 4-2 and took the series lead 1-0.
Three Stars of the Game
Third Star: T.J. Oshie (2 goals)
Second Star: Brock Nelson (2 assists)
First Star: Josh Bailey (1 goal, 1 assist)
The Islanders didn’t look like they had their legs during the first period but they were able to find that energy in the second and third periods. On the other hand, the Capitals started the first 20 minutes strong and took control of the game. However, their defense started to slip especially in the third period when they allowed the Islanders to score three goals.
If the Capitals let their guard down against a quick offensive and heavy defensive Islanders team, this series may not last long as many would think.
Game 2 of the Islanders-Capitals series is on Aug. 14 at 8:00 pm EST.