The Washington Capitals limp into New York tonight without starters Alexander Semin, Eric Fehr, Tom Poti, Semyon Varlamov, and Michal Neuvirth. They have also lost 4 of their last 5, in the midst of a three game road swing. Braden Holtby took the pipes tonight for Washington as Varly provided backup services.
The Caps, who are dead last in the NHL in scoring in the first period, netted the only tally of the first frame, with a beautiful tap in goal by Jason Chimera, off a pass to the net from Alexander Ovechkin. It was Chimera's 7th goal of the season. Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom added helpers. Have to admit, it was quite refreshing to not only see the Caps score first and in the first, but to see Chimera on the Ovechkin/Backstrom line. Chimera has terrific speed and can help create scoring opportunities for Ovechkin and Backstrom. The Chimera goal was the only marker of the first period. The Isles out shot the Cap 11-9.
The Caps and Isles exchanged goal in the second period. Nicklas Backstrom scored at the 3:38 mark of the second period, giving the Caps a 2-0 lead. It was Backstrom's first marker since December 1, 2010, over 20 games. Backstrom tapped in a rebound from an Ovechkin shot off Rick DePietro. It was Backstrom's 12th of the season, assisted by Ovechkin and John Carlson. The 2 goal lead lasted less than two minutes when Michael Grabner scored his 12h f the season off Holtby. The second period ended with Washington leading 2-1. Caps out shot Isles 9-7 in the second period.
The Caps and Isles skated to a scoreless third period as the Caps defeated the Islanders 2-1. A nice win for youngster Braden Holtby, who improves his NHL career to 3-2-1. Holtby stopped 24 of 25 shots to earn the win.
The Washington power play continued their struggles, getting only two chances, but faily to convert either opportunity. The Washington penalty kill was a perfect 6 for 6.
Nicklas Backstrom, 1 goal, 1 assist
Alex Ovechkin, 2 assist
DCPSR Player of the Game:
@ Toronto on Saturday at 7PM