The New York Islanders defeated the Washington Capitals in overtime, 2-1, after dominating over 99% of the game.
Even though they lost, the Capitals need to buy goalie Braden Holtby a ton of beers. If he did not play as well as he did the Islanders could have scored over 10 goals. The Capitals did not register a shot on goal until midway through the first and ended up with only five shots. Surprisingly, the Islanders did not score despite 16 shots on goal. The team only had 21 shots the whole game on Friday!
The Islanders continued their dominance in the second period with 17 shots on goal. Poor Holtby could only take so much as Kyle Okposo put the Islanders up 1-0. The Coliseum exploded with pure joy. Home crowds are always more intense during playoffs, but this is very special for the Islanders since it is the last season at their beloved home. Plus, Holtby denied the team so many goals in the first period, so the fans needed to release their energy. The team knows how important the crowd is for the games.
“We want to use it [the home crowd] to our advantage,” explained captain John Taveares before the game. “But at the same time we’ve got to stay composed, stay disciplined like we have been and control our emotions. There’s a lot of ups and downs in the game and we’ve got to make sure we play hard and do the right things from start to finish.”
Boy, did they ever, except for a brief moment in the third period. The Capitals attempted a pushback, which succeeded when Nicklas Backstrom scored with six minutes left in the game. Captain Alex Ovechkin jumped over to Backstrom as the team celebrated the tie, deflating the Coliseum.
However, the goal only gave more life to the Islanders. Before anyone could blink, Tavares scored 15 seconds into overtime to win the game. The crowd erupted while the Capitals slowly skated into the locker room.
The puck drops for Game 3 on Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. Eastern.