Capitals Claw Back In Regulation, Fall In Overtime

Posted April 19, 2015

Nicklas Backstrom has two goals in the playoffs for the Caps. (Caps Outsider)

After winning Game 2 to even the series at one game apiece on Friday, the Capitals came into a hostile environment at the Nassau Coliseum hoping the momentum would carry over. After tying the game at one later in the third period, the Capitals could not complete the comeback and lost a heartbreaker in overtime, 2-1.

In the first period the Islanders came out with guns blazing, along with the Coliseum faithful. Every play was met with an eruption of noise. The Islanders were able to generate ten shots on starting goaltender Braden Holtby before the Capitals could even get one, and their first was only a dribbler easily covered up by Jaroslav Halak. Washington could not match the Islanders’ energy for the majority of the game. After the game, Nicklas Backstrom said that the Capitals “played right into [the Islanders] trap and you can’t be successful in the playoffs if you do that.”

Injuries plagued Washington in the first period as Eric Fehr and Marcus Johansson both walked down the tunnel with injuries. While Johansson came back out for the second period, Fehr was not as lucky. He did not come back to the game after injuring his shoulder. Washington head coach Barry Trotz told media after the game that he went into the locker room to get a status update on Fehr but he would get a complete report later this evening.

The game evened out in second period. Both teams were getting looks on the net but nobody could convert. However, the Islanders finally got on the board as a Lubomir Visnovsky shot deflected by Kyle Okposo beat Holtby to give the Islanders a 1-0 lead. The tally re-energized the Islanders as they ramped up the pressure again. The Islanders almost made it 2-0 when Troy Brouwer took a tripping penalty twenty seconds after the Islanders tally but they could not convert.

In the third period the Capitals were able to apply sustained pressure in the Islanders zone. At 13:54 of the period Washington was finally able to get on the scoreboard as Nicklas Backstrom was able to beat Halak off assists from Mike Green and Joel Ward to tie the game at 1. After the goal the Islanders put the pressure back on the Capitals but couldn’t not find the game winner in regulation.

It took all of 15 seconds in the overtime period for Islanders captain John Tavares to squeeze the puck past Holtby off a dump-in to clinch the game for the Islanders and to take 2-1 series lead. Game Four will be on Tuesday evening at the Nassau Coliseum, and if the Capitals cannot find a way to win on Tuesday it may be a short postseason for Washington.