The New York Islanders went into Thursday’s game with a chip on their shoulders over Tom Wilson’s big hit that sidelined defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky. Anders Lee settled that dispute early in the contest with a sparring match, but the Islanders now have more immediate problems after suffering a 5-1 loss to Washington tonight.
New York was able to strike first as Josh Bailey found the back of the net shortly after Lee’s fight. However, Evgeny Kuznetsov managed to even the score midway through the first period and Karl Alzner put the Capitals’ up 2-1 in the second frame.
Then the floodgates open in the third as the Capitals netted three goals in the span of just over six minutes to drive Jaroslav Halak out of the contest. Despite only lasting 49 minutes and surrendering five markers, Halak still finished with 30 saves.
Kuznetsov, who was held off the scoresheet in his first four playoff contests, led the charge with two goals and an assist. Jason Chimera and Karl Alzner each chipped in a goal and an assist for Washington.
Islanders goaltender Michal Neuvirth held his own in relief of Halak, but the damage was already done. The Islanders will how head back to Nassau Coliseum. Their home since 1972, they will be saying goodbye to it on Saturday if they lose in Game 6.