Capitals come back, beat Islanders in overtime 4-3

DC’s hockey team began a back-to-back set on Long Island against the New Your Islanders trying to shake off consecutive losses. While it was another inauspicious start for the Capitals, they managed to turn the game around and win in a thriller that went to the overtime session. Dimitry Orlov planted the game-winner, his second overtime goal this season.

The Capitals began the game well enough with Sonny Milano creating a pair of quality scoring chances within the game’s opening minutes. However, they soon fell behind after the Islanders began forcing their physical play. Sebastian Aho began the scoring at 4:24 with a one-timer from the point. Darcy Kuemper appeared to be screened on the play and thus barely reacted to the shot. Nearly nine minutes later, Matt Martin tipped Alexander Romanov’s point shot past Kuemper for the two-goal lead. Meanwhile, the Capitals would only manage five shots on goal for the period. Compounding their issues was the loss of Nic Dowd who went down with a lower-body injury and did not return.

In the second period, New York would increase its lead to 3-0 on a wrist shot from Hudson Fasching. The shot was set up from a reverse pass by Jean-Gabriel Pageau. Fasching used Garnet Hathaway as a screen and threw the puck past the stunned Kuemper. The Capitals’ fortunes seemed to turn around after a hit by Alex Ovechkin on Pageau, who appeared to be injured as a result. The play was reviewed for a possible major per Rule 20.6 but was eventually ruled a non-call. The moment inspired the Capitals to find their physical game again, which had been nearly non-existent up to that point.

At 10:01, Garnet Hathaway finally got Washington on the board. After a faceoff win by Marcus Johansson, the puck was corralled by Ovechkin who fired it at the net. On the ensuing rebound, Hathaway dove for the loose puck shoving it toward the net and past goalie Ilya Sorokin. Tom Wilson recorded his first goal of the season at 13:08 after a scintillating backhand pass from Nicklas Backstrom from behind the net. Wilson positioned himself in just the right spot in front of the goal then snapped the shot just above Sorokin’s blocker hand immediately after receiving the pass.

TJ Oshie tied the game at 5:54 of the third period. On a cycle started by Evgeny Kuznetsov, the puck was then sent to Erik Gustafsson who found Oshie lingering in the slot. After a saucer pass from Gustafsson, Oshie raised his stick just enough to get a touch on it to redirect the puck past Sorokin. New York had several chances to pull ahead again only to be stymied by the brilliant play of Kuemper. Washington’s shot totals improved to 14 and 12 in the second and third periods respectively.

The game nearly ended within the overtime period’s first minute as the two teams traded dangerous chances. Erik Gustafsson launched a wrist shot that was stopped by Sorokin. The rebound ended up giving Pageau a breakaway on Kuemper, who deftly turned the shot aside with his right pad. With less than a minute remaining, Coach Peter Laviolette sent Milano out with Orlov and Oshie. Milano and Orlov gained the zone while Oshie waited at the blue line. Orlov then began the cycle with Oshie on the left side. Orlov was able to shake his man and Oshie found him alone streaking into the slot area. A deke to the left then a forehand lift shot over Sorokin was all Orlov needed to end the game at 4:27 of the extra session.

NOTES—Dowd was announced as having a lower-body injury, which had occurred after he went awkwardly into the boards after being tangled with Cal Clutterbuck. No permanent evaluation is available at this time. Lars Eller was a healthy scratch for this game and will most likely take his spot for tomorrow’s game if needed. The Capitals next play the Minnesota Wild tomorrow night back at CapitalOne Arena with a scheduled start time of 7 PM ET.

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