Washington Capitals Defeat Islanders as Ovechkin scores 45th

March 1, 2019 by Noah Gagnon
Alex Ovechkin celebrates with teammates after scoring during the third period, his 45th of the season against the New York Islanders on Friday in Uniondale, N.Y.

The Washington Capitals went to New York to win, and win they did with Alex Ovechkin adding to his list of impressive accomplishments after scoring his 45th goal of the season.

That wasn’t his only accomplishment last night. The other was becoming the first NHL player in history to have ten seasons where they scored 45 or more goals. Ovechkin came on the heels of a blistering third period for the Capitals, one that saw them come from a one goal deficit to a 3-1 victory.

T.J. Oshie and Jakub Vrana also scored for Washington, and earning assists were Nicklas Backstrom, Michal Kempny, T.J. Oshie, and Evgeny Kuznetsov. The win extended Washington’s winning streak to three and put them in a tie for the lead in the Metropolitan Division with the New York Islanders. T.J. Oshie praised the captain for his ability to score goals adding,

“His ability to create offence is something that I have never seen before. There are greats in the league, but none that I have seen that are such a natural prolific goal scorer. “

Scoring New York’s unassisted goal was Tom Kuhnackl. Thomas Greiss has 26 saves for the night as the Islanders lost their second in a row. Captain of the Islanders, Anders Lee commented that it was hard to match the previous night adding,

“We were up, we were ready to go. We put ourselves in a position to win and then things got away from us.”

Sportsnet

Ovechkin has scored or earned assists in his last eight games. His goal last night came at 4:34 in the third period while Washington’s Anders Lee sat in the penalty box over an interference call. Ovechkin swatted the puck midair and sent it above and past Thomas Greiss.

Vrana’s goal, which came a minute before Ovechkin’s, was his 19th. It was the first of the night for Washington after Vrana picked up a loose puck while scrambling in front of the net and put it past Geiss to make it 1-1. Ovechkin’s goal a minute last made it 2-1giving the Capitals the lead. Todd Reirden, coach of the Washington Capitals, called last nights game competitive adding that,

“We didn’t have success to start the game, but we stayed the course. We didn’t change how we played. We continued to play the same way the rest of the game till we were rewarded. It was an important team win for us.”

The New York Islanders seem on their way to a solid post-season again this year under the watchful eye of Barry Trotz. New York came on strong in the opening period with Tom Kuhnackl scoring in the first three minutes of the period. However, from thereon, the Capitals put up serious opposition and kept them at bay until they turned it around in the third period. As the post-season approaches, the Capitals are in a solid position to be major contenders for the Stanley Cup. That is good news for sports punters interested in placing bets with leading and recommended sportsbook sites as advertised on betting.ca.

Kuhnackl’s goal nearly didn’t count as he had to wait for Komarov to clear the blue line after entering Washington’s offensive zone. However, the play went unchallenged and the goal counted. Commenting, on the play, Brayden Holtby said,

“He (Kuhnackl) stopped skating, our guy stopped skating, the crowd went silent, it just kind of froze me a little bit, I didn’t know what was going on. Strange play. We are lucky it didn’t hurt us.”

The Washington Capitals next play the New York Rangers before heading to Philadelphia to take on the Flyers on Wednesday. The Islanders will remain at home welcoming the Flyers on Sunday and Ottawa on Tuesday.