For the last time in the regular season, the New York Islanders visited the Verizon Center to face the Washington Capitals. Michael Latta was in the lineup for the first time since February 22. Islanders goaltender Christopher Gibson made his first NHL start. Braden Holtby had a chance to tie the all-time single season wins record (48) set by Martin Brodeur.
First Period: Starting Out Strong
The Capitals and Islanders came out with their skating legs. Alex Ovechkin scored his 46th of the season less than five minutes into the game. It was a nice “welcome to the NHL” for goaltender Gibson. Michael Latta and Scott Mayfield dropped the gloves a little past halfway through the period. Latta was assessed an extra roughing minor in that situation. The Capitals ended the period up 1-0 on the visiting New Yorkers.
Second Period: Weird Goal
The Capitals killed off the rest of the Tom Wilson cross-checking penalty at the beginning of the second period. The home team did not play poorly in this period or throughout the game. Then a weird play and goal for the Islanders captain John Tavares tied the game at one with less than seven minutes to go in the period. The teams were tied with one a piece after two periods.
Third Period: Well…
1:15 into the third period, T.J. Oshie collected his 26th of the season (assisted by Marcus Johansson and John Carlson) and the Caps had the lead once again. Alex Ovechkin scored his second of the night (and 47th of the season, assisted by Oshie and Johansson) and the Capitals had a 3-1 lead less than seven minutes in the third period. It looked like the Capitals were going to win and help tie the win record for goaltender Braden Holtby. Well… Kyle Okposo and Anders Lee had a different idea. Okposo’s 22nd and Lee’s 15th of the season tied the game 3-3. The teams remained tied after regulation.
Overtime: No Record Tied Tonight
The Capitals had so many chances to end the game during the extra session. Evgeny Kuznetsov had a breakaway but was denied by Gibson. Marcus Johansson and Alex Ovechkin each had a great chance of securing the extra point and Braden Holtby’s 48th win. But Thomas Hickey got the puck past Holtby and the Islanders secure their playoff spot.
On the bright side: The Capitals overall did not play bad, it was just not the desired score. There are still three games left to achieve (more) history.
Practice: Day off on Wednesday and morning skate on Thursday at 10:15am at Kettler Capitals Iceplex.
Game: The Capitals’ next try to get Holtby’s 48th win is on Thursday against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Verizon Center.