The Washington Capitals finally showed up to play against the New York Islanders. Without goalie Braden Holtby, the Capitals rallied from a two-goal deficit to win 4-3 and even the series at one.
The game started much like the first. It took the Islanders five minutes to score and the arena to groan. Déjà vu. But there was something slightly different about the Capitals in the first period. They kept the puck in the Islanders’ zone. It gave fans hope that maybe, just maybe, the series will live up to the hype since it contains Alex Ovechkin and John Tavares, two of the biggest stars in the game.
Another groan erupted from the Verizon Center when the Islanders scored three minutes into the second. It does not take much to feel the frustration through the TV screen. Complete silence. Spectators could hear every scrape against the ice. It was so bad people turned to the Nationals baseball game.
But then something happened. Karl Alzner scored to make it 2-1. The crowd erupted. One would think the team just won the Stanley Cup.
All was crushed when Kyle Okposo scored three minutes after Alzner. The score was 3-1. How could this be even though the Capitals dominated in Corsi?! (If you do not understand Corsi, please refer to this website.) It was 3-1 even though the Capitals spent the majority of the time in the Islanders’ zone…again.
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That question did not weigh heavy on most minds for very long because none other than Ovechkin scored at 16:09 to bring the game within one again. Still down a goal the crowd went insane to see their star come to life.
The fire was lit.
Capitals came roaring out and the Islanders showed their irritation. Ryan Strome slashed Tom Wilson, which placed the Capitals on the power play. Oh, yeah. The Capitals dominated in the power play category in the regular season. That was all they needed.
Nicklas Backstrom scored his first goal since February 19 to tie the game 3-3. Every single fan in the Verizon Center leaped up. Jason Chimera sealed the deal four minutes later. The Capitals stayed aggressive and threw off the Islanders the rest of the game to preserve their lead.
Finally. The Capitals decided to make the series exciting and one to watch. The team will face many challenges as the series heads to historic Nassau Coliseum.