Alex Ovechkin crushed the New York Islanders dreams of a First Round series sweep of the Washington Capitals.
First, he tied the game at two with a power-play goal in the second period. Then he scored 3:40 into the third period to give the Capitals a 3-2 lead and the win to extend the series to a fifth game.
“They played a good game, but I also think we didn’t play our best game,” Nick Leddy said. “We kind of gave them life at certain times in the game. They took that momentum and ran. You have to give them a little credit, but at the end of the day we know we have a lot better.”
Ovechkin’s game-winner came off a quick wrist shot from inside the faceoff circle. The Capitals star was able to take the puck up the ice after Brock Nelson whiffed on a shot in the Caps end and they were able to transition the other way.
It completed the comeback for the Capitals, who erased a two-goal deficit in the first 5:29 of the second period.
The 69th #StanleyCup Playoff goal for Alex Ovechkin.
— #StanleyCup Playoffs on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) August 19, 2020
“We took penalties. Unnecessary penalties,” Islanders coach Barry Trotz said. “That gave them some momentum. They got back on track and then it was a one-shot game after that.”
A dismal second period by the Islanders changed the course of the game in a matter of minutes. The Islanders had jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first 20 minutes, but the Capitals responded by throwing the New York Islanders off their game
The Capitals outshot the Islanders 15-7 in the middle 20 minutes and then held the Islanders to just a single shot for the first 14 minutes of the third. The Capitals finished the game with 29 shots.
The Islanders also failed to convert on five power-play chances on Tuesday night, once again highlight the importance of the special teams game this series. The Capitals converted on one of their five power-play chances, with four of them coming in the second period.
“They got a big one there with Ovi on their power play,” Mat Barzal said. “We had looks tonight. We had five, six power plays tonight and we have to find a way to one in the back of the net. We knew coming into this series special teams was probably going to be the deciding factor in some games. Not that it was tonight, but for them to get that second that was huge for them.”
Barzal added: “We just have to make an adjustment and their PK has done well of watching video, and taking away our options. We have to do the same.”
Evgeni Kuznetsov scored the Capitals first goal 3:35 into the second. Kuznetsov blew by the Islanders defense and snuck the puck by Semyon Varlamov while playing four on four.
The Capitals continued their push against the Islanders and tied the game at two just over two minutes later while on the power play. It was a signature Ovechkin power-play goal that did the job at the 5:29 mark of the second.
The Islanders took advantage of their quick start to the game, putting their first goal of the game on the board 3:50 into the first period. Scott Mayfield flung the puck towards the net from the point and Jean-Gabriel Pageau deflected the puck out of the air for the goal.
The goal was Pageau’s first of the series against the Capitals and his third point (one goal, two assists) over the last three games.
that deflection tho 🤩🤩 pic.twitter.com/KyMoQyIdFn
— x-new york islanders (@NYIslanders) August 19, 2020
Barzal extended the lead to two goals at the 9:16 mark of the first. The goal came off a give and go from Nick Leddy, who moved the puck back to Barzal and the 23-year-old winger put the puck past Braden Holtby.
Tuesday was the second consecutive game that Barzal has scored in and the forward has four points (two goals, two assists) over the last four games.