July 13, 2020

Washington Capitals Game 15 Recap: Caps special in 6-2 win over Islanders


The Washington Capitals, paced by five second period goals, leapfrogged the New York Islanders for second place in the Metropolitan Division, beating their once-and-current rivals 6-2 before a not-quite packed Verizon Center Tuesday night. The Caps made good on 4-of-6 power play opportunities and their captain, Alex Ovechkin, scored twice after missing two games with an upper body injury.

“Our power play clicks almost all of the time,” head coach Adam Oates said. “We talk about it all the time, ‘we stop ourselves.’ We should be in a position that we should feel that on a given night we stop ourselves, they don’t stop us.”

It was Ovechkin’s third multi-goal and third three-point games of the season.

Ovechkin was joined on the scoresheet by John Carlson (2) and a trio with their first of the season: Marcus Johansson, Alexander Urbom, and 19-year old rookie Tom Wilson. Wilson also assisted on Urbom’s marker.

The Islanders actually scored first, with John Tavares (7) banging home a cross-crease pass just as their first power play had expired in the first period.

The second stanza brought a flurry of goal-scoring activity.

First came Carlson, who snapped a shot past Evgeni Nabakov (33 saves) on a counter attack after Carlson held a puck in at the blue line.

Just 1:15 later, Ovechkin has his first of the night, a power play marker on a wrist shot from the top of the left wing faceoff circle. A mere 15 seconds later, Kyle Okposo ripped a shot past Braden Holtby’s glove hand to tie the game back up, but the Caps were undaunted.

Following some nifty stickwork by Nick Backstrom, Johansson knocked home a loose puck at the right post on a power play. Urbom’s blast from the left wing circle was next. He was on the receiving end of Wilson’s pass from the right post, as he was sliding on his rear.

Ovechkin finished the second period scoring with his second of the night, a snap shot off a feed from Backstrom, the pivot’s third helper of the night.

The Caps earned another power play late in the third, and Adam Oates employed some lesser-used players with the extra man. Ovechkin found Wilson on the far post, and Wilson redirected it past Nabokov for his first NHL goal, earning the rookie a shaving cream pie in the locker room just as he was to address the media.

“[Wilson]’s had a lot of chances, and [rookies] don’t get that many minutes,” Adam Oates explained following the game. “Because of the score, I gave him a chance to go out there and I didn’t expect it to go that way but great for him. He made a great play on [Alexander Urbom’s] goal. He’s done a lot of good things for us, and I’m obviously very happy for him to get that first one.”

The Capitals practice at Kettler at 11:00 am Wednesday in preparation for Thursday’s game against the Minnesota Wild at 7:00 pm.

About Dave Nichols

Dave Nichols is Editor-in-Chief of District Sports Page. He is credentialed to cover the Washington Nationals, Capitals, Wizards and Mystics. Dave also covers national college football and basketball and Major League Soccer for Associated Press and is a copy editor for the Spokesman-Review newspaper in Spokane, WA. He spent four years in radio covering the Baltimore Orioles, Washington Redskins and the University of Maryland football and basketball teams. Dave is a life-long D.C. sports fan and attended his first pro game in 1974 — the Caps’ second game in existence. You can follow him on Twitter @DaveNicholsDSP


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