Backstrom: Caps need to be ‘hungrier’ in Game 7

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As close as the New York Islanders’ 3-1 win was in Game 6, it sounds like the Washington Capitals believe that there was a noticeable difference in the two teams’ effort levels.

Nicklas Backstrom mentioned the word “hungrier” twice in less than two minutes while describing Washington’s efforts, which indicates disappointment (and maybe an urge to leave the locker room for dinner). Head coach Barry Trotz admitted that the Islanders desperation level was “a little bit higher than ours,” according to the Washington Post’s Alex Prewitt.

Should their be some concern about Washington’s historic difficulty to close out opponents?

Overall, the Capitals seemed a bit letdown by their efforts, but certainly not devastated. This contest was tight much like the majority of the contests in this series, as John Tavares said right after the Islanders’ win.

Going the distance: Isles edge Caps to force Game 7

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If this is indeed the game that closes down New York Islanders contests at Nassau Coliseum, then they’re leaving the building roaring. They also ended the game with a brawl.

The Islanders managed a 3-1 win in front of a boisterous home crowd on Saturday, forcing a Game 7 against the Washington Capitals. It was a tight, physical contest. An empty-net goal makes the score deceptive, as it was very close.

Both goalies played very well, with the decisive goal involving a wild moment between Alex Ovechkin, John Tavares and Nikolai Kulemin …

… And really, just about everyone on the ice, if we’re being honest.

One might not think bad blood when you hear Islanders vs. Capitals, at least in 2015. That’s absolutely an accurate way to describe the feelings between these two squads, as they even traded blows after the final whistle.

It’s been a heck of a first-round series between two of the East’s better teams, so it only seems fitting that it’s going the distance. The Verizon Center crowd has its work cut out for it if they want to match the atmosphere in Game 6, too.

Everything happens: Ovechkin nails Tavares, Isles score

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When a questionable hit by Alex Ovechkin on John Tavares might not be the most noteworthy moment in a shift, you know it’s a wild sequence of events.

The New York Islanders and Washington Capitals engaged in some rough stuff even before that Ovechkin hit, but amid all the chaos, Nikolai Kulemin scored a 2-1 goal that could indeed be huge in Game 6:

Tavares earned an assist both literally and figuratively on that play, as so much attention came after he grabbed the puck and then took that hit.

There were no penalties on the play, just the goal. Is there some question that a whistle should have come during that frantic turn of events?

Video: Penalties catch up to Islanders, Caps score late

Leading 1-0 the New York Islanders took three straight minor penalties in the span of 6:21 in the first period.

It finally caught up to them.

With John Tavares in the box for slashing, John Carlson tied the game at 1-1 with 4.3 seconds remaining in the first.

Video: Isles’ Lee fights Caps’ Wilson after days of verbal sparring

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The Islanders went into this game upset at Washington’s Tom Wilson for his big hit on Lubomir Visnovsky that has left the New York blueliner on sidelined with what might be a concussion.

Kyle Okposo called Wilson “an idiot” while John Tavares described Wilson’s actions as targeting a defenseless player.

It didn’t take long for that anger to manifest itself in the form of a fight between Wilson and Islanders forward Anders Lee in Game 5 on Thursday. You can watch that exchange below:

That sparring match seemed to inspire the Islanders as Josh Bailey found the back of the net just 26 seconds later:

Unfortunately for the Islanders, Washington’s Evgeny Kuznetsov responded with a goal of his own and the two sides consequently went into the intermission tied.