Evgeny Kuznetsov was the lone goal scorer in the shootout as the Washington Capitals edged the New York Islanders 3-2 Saturday afternoon.
The win stretches Washington’s win streak to four games. The Caps have also won five of six.
“They’ve got a good team. I looked at that game as hopefully a playoff series at some point,” said Capitals coach, Barry Trotz. “Two very good hockey teams that mirror each other in a lot of ways in terms of some style. They have some dynamic people on both ends of the ice.
“I thought we were a little sleepy out of the gates. We weren’t executing as quick as we needed to. We allowed them to have a lot of structure. We weren’t real sharp early, and I thought we were a little slow out of the gates…In the second and third I thought we were much better in a lot of areas.”
New York failed to pick up two points for just the second time in eight games (6-1-1).
Matt Niskanen and Eric Fehr scored in regulation for the Capitals while Braden Holtby made 30 saves for the win.
With his assist on Niskanen’s goal, Niklas Backstrom took over the lead in points (64) from Chicago’s Patrick Kane (63).
Ryan Strome tied the game 2-2 with 47.8 seconds remaining in the third to force overtime.
“That was a great game. We played real well. We had 18, close to 20 shots in the third [period],” said Jack Capuano. “I really liked the things that we did. It would have been unfortunate not to walk out of here with at least a point. Our guys battled; Chad [Johnson] played well. The penalty kill came up big when it had to.”
Travis Hamonic had the other Islanders goal while Chad Johnson stopped 25 shots in the loss. John Tavares had two assists.
“It was a tight game in all aspects. [Washington] just had an opportunity obviously a pretty good one that they scored on,” Tavares said. “We had a few that we didn’t get, it just took us until the end. It was a good way to fight back and obviously couldn’t help our goalie out in the shootout. We didn’t get any past Holtby.”
With the win, the Capitals move to within four points of the Islanders for top spot in the Metropolitan Division.