Nabokov, MacDonald power Isles to 1-0 win

Cory Wright | Tuesday, 02.04.2014 / 11:27 PM

Evgeni Nabokov posted his second shutout of the season, as the Islanders held on for a 1-0 win over the Washington Capitals on Tuesday night at Verizon Center.

Nabokov made 22 saves and Andrew MacDonald scored the game-winner 2:16 into the third period, as the Islanders picked up their first win against the Caps this season. The Islanders penalty kill also played a big role in the win, going six-for-six against the league’s third-ranked power play, including a critical kill with 3:05 to play.

“In order to get the shutout, everybody pitches in,” Nabokov, who picked up his 13th win against the Capitals, said. “Our penalty kill did a great job to kill a lot of penalties against a good power play… Sometimes the luck has to be on your side too.”

The two high-octane offenses were locked in an uncharacteristically low-scoring game, with neither team breaking through after 40 minutes. MacDonald’s third-period goal – a hard shot from the point through traffic – proved to be all the Islanders needed.

“I had a lot of time [to wind up],” MacDonald said. “I knew our guy went to the front of the net and created a great screen. The goalie went down a little early and it found the back of the net.”

The point shot was the only puck to beat Caps goalie Michal Neuvirth, who made 27 saves in the loss and stymied the Islanders on several grade-A chances. Neuvirth stopped Michael Grabner on a shorthanded penalty shot midway through the third period, and denied Kyle Okposo on a late two-on-one opportunity.

“It’s a good win for our team,” head coach Jack Capuano said. “We’re a desperate team and I thought our guys worked hard tonight right from the start. I thought we defended real well, we were structured tonight and guys played hard.”

The Metropolitan Division rivals played with an edge, as both teams sent at least eight skaters to the penalty box. Matt Martin and Tyson Strachan dropped the gloves early in the first period and both teams threw the body all night. The Islanders out hit the Capitals 36-22 by the final horn.

The Islanders head back to Long Island for their final two games before the Olympic break, as they host the Calgary Flames on Thursday night at Nassau Coliseum. Puck drop is at 7 p.m.

NOTES: Andrew MacDonald led the Islanders with 23:27 TOI… Cal Clutterbuck led the Islanders with seven hits… Michael Grabner led the Islanders with four shots on goal… The Islanders had five shorthanded shots while the Capitals had none… Both teams had seven power-play shots.

Scoring Summary
1st Period
2nd Period
3rd Period
02:16NYI Andrew MacDonald (4) ASST: Brock Nelson (9) 1 - 0 NYI
Three Stars of the Game
Michal Neuvirth
Michal Neuvirth
SA: 28TOI: 59:11
GA: 1EV: 14-15
PIM: 0PP: 7-7
SV%: .964SH: 6-6
Evgeni Nabokov
Evgeni Nabokov
SA: 22TOI: 59:49
GA: 0EV: 15-15
PIM: 0PP: 7-7
SV%: 1.000SH: 0-0
Andrew MacDonald
Andrew MacDonald
G: 1Shots: 2
A: 0Hits: 2
PTS: 1PIM: 0
+/-: 1TOI: 23:27
Penalty Summary
1st Period
02:34WSH Tyson Strachan  Fighting (maj) against  Matt Martin
02:34NYI Matt Martin  Fighting (maj) against  Tyson Strachan
12:16NYI Josh Bailey  Delaying Game-Puck over glass
17:23WSH John Erskine  Delaying Game-Puck over glass
2nd Period
01:41NYI Thomas Vanek  Hooking against  Troy Brouwer
09:32NYI Thomas Vanek  Hooking against  Nicklas Backstrom
11:28WSH Joel Ward  Interference against  Brock Nelson
17:41NYI Casey Cizikas  Roughing against  Dmitry Orlov
17:41WSH Dmitry Orlov  Roughing against  Matt Martin
17:41NYI Matt Martin  Boarding against  Dmitry Orlov
18:12WSH Troy Brouwer  Interference against  Brock Nelson
20:00WSH Connor Carrick  Holding against  Thomas Vanek
3rd Period
07:15NYI Matt Donovan  Holding against  Alex Ovechkin
10:31WSH Marcus Johansson  Hi-sticking against  Lubomir Visnovsky
16:55NYI Lubomir Visnovsky  Tripping against  Alex Ovechkin
shots by period
Team Stats
Power Plays0/50/6
Faceoff Wins2227
Blocked Shots1521
Penalty Minutes1917
11L. VisnovskyD0000221:08
12J. BaileyR0011212:37
13C. McDonaldR0010010:41
14T. HickeyD0001017:39
15C. ClutterbuckR0003016:46
17M. MartinL000175:59
21K. OkposoR0002020:30
26T. VanekL0003420:05
29B. NelsonL0111010:30
36E. BoultonL000104:48
37B. StraitD0001018:47
40M. GrabnerR0004016:48
44C. de HaanD0000019:49
46M. DonovanD0011214:22
47A. MacDonaldD1012023:27
51F. NielsenC0003017:50
53C. CizikasC0001214:01
91J. TavaresC0003022:24
20E. Nabokov22221.00059:49
4J. ErskineD00-11213:49
8A. OvechkinL00-13024:56
10M. EratR00-10018:43
16E. FehrC0001012:40
19N. BackstromC00-13019:55
20T. BrouwerR0002221:02
21B. LaichC0001012:47
23T. StrachanD00-10511:24
25J. ChimeraL0002016:09
27K. AlznerD0000018:45
42J. WardR0001214:27
43T. WilsonR000004:37
48C. WellmanC000307:47
58C. CarrickD0000219:22
74J. CarlsonD0003029:13
81D. OrlovD0001217:36
83J. BeagleR0000011:14
90M. JohanssonL0001216:23
30M. Neuvirth2728.96459:11