Capital comeback; Caps win wild one 3-2 in OT over Isles
Troy Brouwer scored two goals, including forcing overtime with 24 seconds to go in the third period to play hero for the Washington Capitals.
Then in overtime, it was captain Alex Ovechkin's turn to play the part.
Ovie played hero in D.C. as the Caps came back to beat the Isles 3-2 in OT.
Ovechkin flew down the left wing and released a seeing-eye wrist shot that stuck between the five-hole of Islanders goalie Evgeni Nabokov at the 1:35 mark of the OT period to give the desperate Caps a much-needed two-point night in D.C.
The play was vintage Ovechkin. He took a loose puck off the boards and exploded towards the Islander zone, then came the patented Ovechkin wrist-shot. He surprised Nabokov, who played outstanding again for New York, with the low laser. Nabokov had shut off the bottom of the net the whole game, which sent Washington shooters aiming high on the Russian netminder.
But Ovechkin got the best of his fellow countryman on this night, notching his 26th goal of the season and just his second game-winner of the season. He now has 54 game-winning goals in his career.
While Ovechkin won the game for the home-standing Capitals, Troy Brouwer played an intricate role in the comeback. Brouwer, who hadn't scored since Jan. 16, scored twice in the final 3:30 of the third to earn the Caps a needed point before eventually earning the second point in OT.
Another unsung hero for the Caps was goaltender Michal Neuvirth, who stopped 22 of 24 shots to earn his third-straight win. While his save total wasn't high, Neuvirth made several key saves early in the first and second to keep the Caps within striking distance. The 23-year-old Czech stoned Michael Grabner on a couple breakaway's and made other huge stops to keep the score at 2-0 New York in the third.
It wasn't exactly how Dale Hunter and staff would draw it up, but it's a huge two points in the standings. Two points that put the Caps back in the Eastern Conference playoff picture in 8th place, leapfrogging division rival Winnipeg. The win also helped the Caps keep pace with Southeast leading Florida, who beat Toronto 5-3 to maintain their three-point cushion on Washington.
Josh Bailey started the scoring just 4:14 into the first for the visiting Islanders with his seventh goal of the season. Matt Moulson scored on a tip-in off a point shot from Steve Staios.
But after the 16-minute mark of the third period, it was all Caps as Washington needed just five more minutes of ice-time to send the Islanders home wondering what happened.
The Caps badly out-shot the Islanders in the first and third periods (26-11) and squandered four powerplay chances on the evening.
Washington gets a two-day break before hosting the New Jersey Devils on Friday at Verizon Center. The Caps are 1-0-2 against the Devils this season.