Last time the New York Islanders were in overtime, John Tavares worked some magic. This time, he was on the short end of his broken stick, as Nicklas Backstrom’s OT-winner gave the Washington Capitals a 2-1 (OT) win and tied the series at 2-2.
After breaking up the big guns to try to spread their offense out, Barry Trotz went back to what has worked for Washington for many years, putting Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin together. That decision ended up being wise, as they combined for the Caps’ two goals.
The Islanders carried the play for noteworthy chunks of time, as you can see from this Natural Stat Trick graph:
That said, the Capitals seemed to seize the moment in overtime, generating a 7-3 shot advantage during that abbreviated period. Eventually that paid off, as Backstrom managed to deflect a puck in for a crucial Capitals win.
Many expected this series to be one of the most even-matched battles in the East, and with this crucial turn, that could very well be the case.
It’s also starting to ratchet up the intensity, due in large part to the Tasmanian Devil-like presence of Tom Wilson.
In other words, we have ourselves a genuine feud. We’ll see how things turn as the series shifts back to the Verizon Center for Game 5, then.