Connect with us

New York Islanders

Instant Islanders: Fatigue Fatal In OT Loss To Capitals



AP Photo/Stephanie Scarbrough

The New York Islanders lost the to Washington Capitals, 3-2, in overtime on Wednesday night at Capital One Arena, giving them a point in 16 of their last 18 contests as their record drops to 15-8-9.

Dylan Strome’s game-winner on the power play survived a video review after the Islanders challenged the call for a high stick earlier in the play. Hendrix Lapierre and Joel Edmundson also found the back of the net for Washington, as Islanders netminder Semyon Varlamov stopped 33 of 36 shots.

The Islanders tied the score twice in regulation with goals by Hudson Fasching and Anders Lee but never led in the game.

But that’s just the box score. Here are the key takeaways from the night in Washington.

Fatigue Fatal, But Not An Excuse:

The Islanders’ loss in Washington was on the second night of a back-to-back set, as it wasn’t until the second period that they began to feel their legs.

Washington dictated tempo early on, holding a 14-7 shot advantage in the first period and drawing first blood with the goal by Lapierre.

Even while the Islanders eventually found their legs and made the game interesting later on, they forced themselves to play catch up by wasting those opening 20 minutes.

“Our start wasn’t good enough, so that’s got to be fixed,” head coach Lane Lambert said. “We’ve got to fix that in these back-to-back situations.”

These last two games against Washinton and the Edmonton Oilers were the Islanders’ fifth back-to-back set this season. They remain winless in the second half of them at 0-2-3.

Overtime Still An Obstacle:

No matter how you look at it, the Islanders wouldn’t be in the position they are without their league-leading nine overtime losses.

Without them, they’d either be six points out of a playoff spot or have a three-point buffer on the rest of their division.

The Islanders have improved in overtime situations recently, but this latest loss to the Capitals carries a little more weight since it’s a divisional matchup.

By failing to collect the extra point, the Islanders don’t leap the Philadelphia Flyers to claim possession of second place in the division and are still six points behind the New York Rangers. Meanwhile, Washington pulls itself out of a tie with New Jersey and are now just three points back of the Islanders.

Granted, Strome’s game-winner came with the Islanders facing a difficult four-on-three situation while Noah Dobson sat in the penalty box for a tripping minor. But still, if Islanders continue to leave points on the table their standing at the end of the year will surely reflect it.

Wahlstrom Works Back In:

Oliver Wahlstrom dressed for the first time in eight games, replacing the injured Julien Gauthier. He registered one shot on goal in 11:39 of ice time, playing on the Islanders’ third line and second power-play unit.

“He made a couple of strong plays,” Lambert said. “He went up and down and tried to do what he’s supposed to do.”

Wahlstrom has seen himself in and out of the Islanders lineup this entire season. He’ll need to make the most of this newest opportunity while he’s in for the time being, because they are becoming less and less frequent.

Up Next:

The Islanders’ final game before the NHL’s Christmas break is Saturday against the Carolina Hurricanes, the second of five straight within the division.




Enter your email address to get all of our articles delivered directly to your inbox.

NYI Team & Cap Info