The Washington Capitals defeated the Islanders again in there home and home with them 6-3 tonight. Tonight was Braden Holtby’s first start since being benched, and he looked like himself again stopping 22 shots.
The Capitals got off to a great start scoring first after TJ Oshie tipped in a shot from Alex Ovechkin for a power play goal.
Later in the second period Islander rookie sensation Matthew Barzal beat Braden Holtby to tie the game. Moments later Nicklas Backstrom scored a rebound goal to take the lead.
The Capitals kept fighting and putting pressure on Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak when Capitals defensemen scored to give them a 3-1 lead.
A scary moment came with 30 seconds left in the period after Evgeny Kuznetsov was tripped from Islanders forward John Bailey on a breakaway and fell into the boards hard. The Capitals public relation department said it was an upper body injury and didn’t return to the game. To me I think he injured his wrist, and was seen holding his left wrist after going wrist and head first into the boards.
Moments into the third period Alex Chaisson sunk a goal on the power play while taking Kuznetsov’s role on the top power play line. The Capitals didn’t hold back in the third with other goals coming from Jakub Vrana, and an empty net goal from Lars Eller for his 17 of the year.
Key take away from the game is the Braden Holtby is back! He played confident, had great rebound control and didn’t let in any soft goals. It’s tough to say who will start in net for Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers with Philipp Grubauer playing his best hockey, but is the former Veznia Trophy winner back to himself?
Alex Chaisson has a huge night as well. He was put back into the line up and produced a goal and two assist.
Evgeny Kuznetsov’s health is a major concern with the playoffs right around the corner. We can only hope the reports are there are no broken bones. If he is out for some time the potential forward lines are listed as below.
Ovechkin- Backstrom- Wilson
Burakovsky- Eller- Oshie
Vrana- Beagle- Chassion
Stephenson- Boyd- Smith-Pelly