Frans Nielsen scored twice for the Islanders in the middle frame, his second, tying the game at three to send the game into overtime for Mark Streit to win it for the Islanders by the score of 4-3 over the Washington Capitals. Kyle Okposo opened the scoring for the Islanders in the first period with his third goal of the season. Washington received goals from Alex Ovechkin and two tallies from Tomas Fleischmann. The Islanders improve to 3-4-5 this season, giving them 11 points and placing them in a tie for fourth place in the Atlantic Division with the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Capitals opened the scoring five minutes into the first period when the league’s leading scorer, Ovechkin blasted his 14th goal of the season through Islanders’ starting goalie, Dwayne Roloson for the 1-0 Capitals’ lead. Keith Aucoin settled the play along the left wing boards and saucered a pass to Mike Green at the right point position. Green laid a pass to Ovechkin at the top of the zone where he one-timed a slap-shot that had enough momentum to squeak through the glove and left pad of Roloson to give the Capitals the early lead while on the power-play.
Okposo evened the score at one when he wristed a shot that found the back of the net. Brendan Witt played the puck into the neutral zone where Okposo picked up the loose puck. He came in over the blue-line on a two-on-two and used the Capital defenseman as a screen. Okposo leaned into a shot that sailed past the glove of Washington starter Jose Theodore at 10:37 of the opening frame. The goal was Okposo’s third of the season.
Relentless pressure is a constant when referring to Islanders’ forward Tim Jackman. In the second period, it paid off as he created the Islanders’ second tally of the game. The puck was dumped deep into the Washington zone and Jackman and Capitals’ defenseman, Shaone Morrisonn raced into the zone to retrieve it. Jackman laid a big hit on Morrisonn along the far boards, causing Morrisonn to dish the puck off for his defense partner, Mike Green. As Green attempted to move the puck, he felt the pressure from the Islanders’ fore-check as well and coughed the puck up to Nielsen who walked in alone of Theodore and roofed a shot over the Capital goalie’s glove for his first goal of the season, giving the Islanders the 2-1 lead at 7:12.
The Capitals would tie and then take the lead later in the second period on Fleischmann’s first and second markers of the season. Fleischmann’s first came at 8:15 when he jammed a loose puck past Roloson after Chris Clark broke up the Islander net-minder’s attempt to clear the puck behind the net. Fleischmann gave the Capitals the 3-2 lead while on the power-play, with 3:17 left in the middle period. Green fired a shot on goal that Roloson made the first stop on with his left pad but the puck was not covered and Fleischmann slid the puck in to give his team the one-goal lead.
Washington’s lead was short-lived as Nielsen put his second goal of the season and game under Theodore to tie the score at three. Sean Bergenheim fed a pass out to Streit at the left point. Streit faked a shot causing a Capital forward to pressure the puck, opening up a shooting lane in the high slot for Nielsen. The Islander center-man took the pass and spun a shot on net that Theodore did not see as the puck slid through his legs.
Streit would win it in overtime less than a minute in on a great individual effort by John Tavares behind the net. The Islander rookie carried the puck into the zone and out-worked Nicklas Backstrom behind the net to feed a pass in front to Streit who snuck in from his point position. Streit wasted no time, one-timing a shot through Theodore for his second goal of the season and win the game for the Islanders, 4-3. Radek Martinek also had an assist on the game-winner coming 53 seconds into the extra session.
Roloson earned his second straight win, making 37 saves on 40 Washington shots while Theodore finished with 26 saves. The Islanders were 0-for-3 on the power-play and 4-for-6 on the penalty-kill.
The Islanders will have a quick turn around after Friday night’s game in Washington, as they will take on the Buffalo Sabres Saturday night for a Halloween night contest at 7 p.m. Last time the Islanders and Sabres met was earlier this month at HSBC Arena where Buffalo won by the score of 6-3. For tickets or information for any Islander upcoming home games, contact a team representative at (516) 501-6700 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Frans Nielsen – Scores his first and second goals of the season
2. Tomas Fleischmann – Tallies two goals
3. Mark Streit – In the right place at the right time for the game-winner in OT
Honorable Mention: Tim Jackman – His work on the Islanders’ second goal won’t show up on the score-sheet but he deserves an assist for his hard work to create the chance
Fast Starts: For Washington starting goalie, Semyon Varlamov, the past two seasons have been his fast track to the NHL. Varlamov began the 2008-09 season with the organization’s AHL affiliate, the Hershey Bears and won his first two games before he was recalled to the Capitals. He would get called up and returned on loan several times throughout the season but finished his first North American professional hockey season in the spotlight of the Stanley Cup Playoffs as the Capitals reached the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals where they were beaten by the eventual Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins. Last season, Varlamov had a record of 19-7-0 in the AHL, 5-0-0 in the NHL regular season and was 7-6 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. This season, the Samara, Russia native is 5-0-0.
Shooting Range: Washington Capitals’ All-World right winger, Alex Ovechkin leads the league with a mind-boggling 22 points (13 goals and 9 assists) in only 12 games played thus far this season. He has more goals then game played this season. Another category he is running away with this season is shots. Through Washington’s first 12 games this season, Ovechkin has 78 shots, a number that is 27 shots more than Jeff Carter and Zach Parise, who are tied for second in the category.
Doubling Up: For the Islanders’ goalie tandem of Dwayne Roloson and Martin Biron, they are used to playing numerous games back-to-back after serving as number one net-minders with their previous teams. Tonight, for the first time this season, Head Coach Scott Gordon has chosen to go back to Roloson who gave the Islanders their first regulation win on Wednesday against the New York Rangers. This season, Gordon has flip flopped the goaltending pair as the team looked for their first regulation win of the season. Expect Biron to start tomorrow’s match-up against his former team, the Buffalo Sabres.
26 Matt Moulson – 91 John Tavares – 21 Kyle Okposo
15 Jeff Tambellini – 12 Josh Bailey – 93 Doug Weight
20 Sean Bergenheim – 51 Frans Nielsen – 16 Jon Sim
11 Nate Thompson – 10 Richard Park – 28 Tim Jackman
32 Brendan Witt – 24 Radek Martinek
25 Andy Sutton – 38 Jack Hillen
2 Mark Streit – 8 Bruno Gervais
30 Dwayne Roloson (starter)
43 Martin Biron
8 Alex Ovechkin – 19 Nicklas Backstrom – 28 Alexander Semin
21 Brooks Laich – 9 Brendan Morrison – 22 Mike Knuble
14 Tomas Fleischmann – 20 Keith Aucoin – 17 Chris Clark
89 Tyler Sloan – 39 David Steckel – 10 Matt Bradley
26 Shaone Morrisonn– 52 Mike Green
3 Tom Poti – 23 Milan Jurcina
55 Jeff Schultz – 2 Brian Pothier
60 Jose Theodore (starter)
40 Semyon Varlamov
1 - 0 WSH
1 - 1 Tie
2 - 1 NYI
2 - 2 Tie
3 - 2 WSH
3 - 3 Tie
4 - 3 NYI
Hi stick - double minor
Delaying Game-Puck over glass
Interference on goalkeeper