The New York Islanders forced a Game 7 with their 3-1 victory over the Washington Capitals.
Captain John Tavares placed a lot of blame on himself for the Islanders’ loss in Game 5 and boy did he make up for it in Game 6. He started with a wrist shot to put the team up 1-0. However, he received a very weak slashing penalty with a minute left in the period.
Oh, the captain is in the sin bin! Time to capitalize! John Carlson ripped a shot past Jaroslav Halak with five seconds left in the period. The fans died down as the Capitals jumped in excitement. The goal brought life to the Capitals.
The second period ended as soon as it started. Hits. Hard shots. Brutal. Each team received three penalties, including two roughing penalties on each side. Tensions ran high and the only ones with cool heads were the goalies.
With the Islanders down, fans wondered if they watched the last game at the Nassau Coliseum.
Nope! The Islanders were determined to win. The players were cleaner in the third with no penalties until the end (more on that in a bit), but it was still a ruthless period. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin boarded Tavares, but it was a blessing in disguise for the Islanders. The puck moved away to Nick Leddy, who in turn passed it to Nikolay Kulemin. With a clean hit his shot whizzed past Holtby.
And the crowd went wild. They quickly semi-forgot about the non-call on Ovechkin.
The Capitals were frustrated and proved it with intense hits and shots. Halak stood his ground with help from the crossbar. Jay Beagle almost scored, but hit the crossbar. The puck went directly behind Halak, but sat right next to the goal line. The Capitals pulled Holtby, which allowed Cal Clutterbuck to seal the win with a minute left in the game.
Frustrations boiled over when John Carlson shot the puck at Halak after the whistle blew to end the game. The Islanders, who owe everything to Halak, went after the Capitals to defend their goalie. Vice News describes it perfectly:
Kyle Okposo roughed up Carlson and he was immediately swallowed up by the surrounding Capitals. Thomas Hickey and Marcus Johansson were vigorously hugging it out before Hickey went to the ice and Johansson started wailing on him. Everyone but the goalies got in on the act as a mix of boos, cheers, and beers rained from the stands. Oh, yeah, and a booming “ass-hole” chant.
However, the Islanders fans lost their cool once again and threw items such as beer bottles on the ice. Hopefully, for their sake, it is not the last game at the Coliseum. That is not how any team or fan want the last game at a historic building to go down in history with pictures and videos of trash all over the ice.
Here is the penalty summary for the third period:
Game 7 is on Monday in Washington, D.C. Considering how this game ended it should be wild.