The New York Islanders held a two goal lead late in the game , but could not close out the Washington Capitals, falling 3-2 in overtime at Verizon Center on Tuesday night.
The Islanders carried a 2-0 lead into the final four minutes, but couldn’t hold off a desperate Capitals team who scored two goals in 3:03 before Alex Ovechkin won the game in overtime.
“It’s unacceptable to give up a two-goal lead that late,” Josh Bailey said. “Breakdowns are a part of the game, but you certainly don’t expect the outcome to be like that when you are up two goals.”
Troy Brouwer scored both Capitals goals to send the game to overtime, redirecting a back door play for his 16th of the season and deflecting a point shot with 25 seconds remaining for his 17th.
“The first goal hurt,” Jack Capuano said. “It was a negated icing and we leave a guy alone in front of the net. When they have six guys on the ice they are pretty powerful, but that first one hurt bad.”
Evgeni Nabokov kept the Islanders in the game early, confronting 13 Capitals shots in the first period and 34 on the evening. Nabokov turned aside 31 shots before Ovechkin beat him five-hole for the game-winner. Washington’s counterpart, Michal Neuvirth, stopped 22 of 24.
The Isles withstood an early barrage and responded with the opening goal at 4:14 of the first period. Bailey drove through an open lane to the front of the net, backhanding a shot off the post and knocking in his own rebound.
Matt Moulson’s goal at 2:16 of the third period set a new career high for points with 54. The Isles leading goal scorer has 27 goals and 27 assists in 63 games.
Despite taking a point, the loss proved costly for the Islanders. The Capitals move into the eighth seed and keep the gap between the Isles and the playoffs at eight points.
The Islanders take the ice again Thursday when they play the Philadelphia Flyers. The Isles will look for their third straight win at Wells Fargo Center when the puck drops at 7 p.m.