The Washington Capitals have their backs to the wall.
In their most important game of the season, the Washington Capitals fell in overtime 2-1 and are now 0-3 in the best of seven first round series against the New York Islanders.
The Caps had three penalties in the first period and killed all three of them. Despite this, they still trailed 1-0 with a goal from Anders Lee at 14:50. The Islanders led in shots after one 14-6.
In the second period the Caps went on the power play when Jordan Eberle slashed T.J. Oshie at 5:10. The Caps would score on the attack with a goal from Evgeny Kuznetsov for his second of the playoffs. It came on a shot from the right face-off area and was assisted by John Carlson and Alex Ovechkin.
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Some interesting facts about the Kuznetsov goal. It marked his 26th career playoff goal passing Dale Hunter for the fourth most playoff goals in franchise history. He also tied Mike Ridley with 60 playoff points for the fifth most in the franchise.
Carlson had the primary assist on Kuznetsov’s goal and has now recorded four assists in his last three games. Carlson needs one more assist from passing Dale Hunter (47) for the third most playoff assists in franchise history.
1-1 was the score after two and shots were even in the second at 10 apiece. The third period was scoreless with the Islanders leading in shots 8-4. This game would require overtime and the Islanders would win it in the extra frame with a goal from Mathew Barzal at 4:28 to put Barry Trotz’s Islanders up 3-0 and put Todd Reirden’s Caps on the brink of elimination.
The Islanders outshot the Caps 34-23. Washington went 1 for 2 on the power play while killing all five of their penalties.
“It’s not over yet,” said Alex Ovechkin.
If the Caps want to get their foot back in the series, the offense needs to step up and step up fast. They need to generate more offense and take advantage of opportunities. Jakub Vrana missed a breakaway in overtime that could’ve won the game and mad this story different.
“I don’t think there are any excuses,” said Tom Wilson.
The Caps will also need to take it one game at a time. That’s all they can do from here.
“Just (focus on) the first game and see where it takes us. It’s doable. Obviously our backs are against the wall, but let’s start with one,” added Wilson.
The Caps do or die Game 4 will take place on Tuesday night with the puck dropping at 8 p.m.