August 9, 2022

Washington Capitals Game 60 Recap: Holtby stymies Islanders in shootout as Caps win 3-2

In arguably their biggest win of the regular season, the Washington Capitals lost a one-goal lead late in the third period, only to see Braden Holtby stop all three shots he faced in the shootout and secure a 3-2 win over the New York Islanders on Saturday at Verizon Center.

The Caps got the lead from Eric Fehr with 5:34 to go in regulation. Fehr got the puck in the Washington zone via an errant New York pass, and fed Brooks Laich near the center line. Laich gave it right back to Fehr, who put a blistering snap shot past Johnson from the slot.

The Islanders forced overtime with 48 seconds left after Washington played a conservative game for the final few minutes, as Ryan Strome put a tight-angle shot behind Holtby as the Islanders skated 6-on-5 with the goalie pulled.

“It’s great for us, the way we battled today. We didn’t bring our best game and we gave them one at the end to tie up, but we just kept going forward and we had some good shooters in the shootout,” Fehr said.

Little happened in the five-minute overtime, save for a high-quality scoring chance by John Tavares. Evgeny Kuznetsov scored the shootout’s only goal in the top of the first; Holtby stopped Franz Nielsen, Tavares and Strome in that order to clinch the team’s 33rd win of the year.

Travis Hamonic scored the game’s first goal less than 10 minutes in after a failed Washington backcheck. With under a minute to go in the first, Nicklas Backstrom found Matt Niskanen, who was trailing down the right wing and fired a one-timer from the circle that beat Islander goalie Chad Johnson.

The Capitals will turn right around for a road game against Philadelphia on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. on NBC.

Notes and observations

  • With the Backstrom assist, his 46th, he moves into the league lead for points by himself with 64. He also extends his league lead for assists to four over Philadelphia’s Jakub Voracek. He’s had 17 assists in his past 17 games.
  • Fehr is just five goals away from a new career high. It’s almost like he’s playing for a contract extension or something. His 17th goal of the season came in his 400th career game for the Capitals.
  • Holtby was probably the key to the win, stopping 30 of the 32 shots he faced. He was especially stellar in the third, stopping 17 of 18 shots.
  • The win helps the Caps maintain their spot in second place in the Metropolitan Division, and they closed the gap between themselves and the first-place Islanders to four points; the Rangers still have three games in hand on Washington.
  • They’ve also won four straight (a season-long winning streak) and eight of their last 10.
  • The game marked Washington’s 250th consecutive announced sellout at Verizon Center.
About Eric Hobeck

Eric Hobeck is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page covering the Redskins and Capitals. Eric contributes to high school sports coverage at InsideNova.com. He served as sports editor of The Rotunda at Longwood University for two years, where he was also the men’s basketball beat writer. He hosted a campus radio show for three years and called basketball and baseball games for the station’s award-winning sports team. You can follow Eric on Twitter @eric_hobeck.

Comments

  1. I’m a Caps season ticket holder, been to almost all of the Caps last 250 home games, and Ted is smoking the same dope as Danny if he thinks these have all been sellouts. Many have been, but mid-week games against crappy teams do not sell out.

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