The Islanders and Washington Capitals needed even more extra time than normal in the shootout, as Chris Clark scored the shootout winning goal in the 11th round to give the Capitals a 5-4 victory.
After both teams were tied up at one goal apiece after ten rounds, Clark, who has one goal in 17 games, fired a wrist shot over the glove hand of Islanders goaltender Dwayne Roloson to give the Capitals a 2-1 shootout lead. However, Mark Streit, taking his shootout attempt of the season, was denied by the pad of Washington goaltender Semyon Varlamov to give the Capitals the victory.
The wild shootout seemed appropriate after what was a wild start to the game.
Alexander Semin started things off quickly for the Capitals, scoring eight seconds into the first period for his eighth goal of the season. Semin received a Brendan Morrison pass and skated into the Islanders zone and fired a rocket of a slapshot over Roloson’s shoulder to give the Capitals an early 1-0 lead.
However, Matt Moulson wouldn’t let the Capitals revel in their fast start by tying things up at 1-1 just 54 seconds later. Mark Streit threw a centering pass towards Washington goaltender Jose Theodore, which the netminder kicked out of his way. But Moulson pounced on the rebound, stopped the puck at his feet and fired a shot past Theodore for his eighth goal of the season.
"They kind of got a bounce there, but we got some bounces ourselves right after," Moulson said. "We came hard and responded well."
Streit then scored his third goal of the season 5:10 into the first period to put the Islanders up 2-1. The goal started right off a defensive zone faceoff won by Rob Schremp.
Schremp, who has returned after missing the last nine games as a healthy scratch, drew the puck back to Bruno Gervais, who then passed it off to Streit who fired a bomb past Theodore for the one-goal lead.
Islanders Head Coach Scott Gordon thought that Schremp played well despite not being in the lineup much.
"For not being in the lineup, I thought positionally he was good," Gordon said. "He played with energy, made good positions with the puck."
Sean Bergenheim then scored his second goal in as many games just 1:54 later following Streit's goal. Bergenheim took advantage of a Semin giveaway and was off to the races on a breakaway. The Islanders winger broke in on Theodore, pulled the puck to his backhand and roofed the puck over the sprawled Washington netminder for a 3-1 Islanders lead.
Bergenheim's goal was enough for Washington coach Bruce Boudreau's eyes, as he replaced Theodore with backup goaltender Varlamov.
The quick start was important for the Islanders to stay in the game for what would be a Capitals comeback.
"I think it's real important on this team," Moulson said. "They got a lot of offensive firepower, even without (Ovechkin). You have to strike quick and often with them."
Thomas Fleischmann cut the Islanders lead in half to 3-2 on a power play goal. With Jon Sim in the penalty box serving a holding penalty, Nicklas Backstrom stormed into the Islanders zone, putting on some nifty moves to allude the Islanders defense. But as Backstrom lost the puck, Fleischmann stepped in and blasted a slap shot past Roloson for his sixth goal of the year 13:42 into the opening period.
Semin scored his second goal of the game, and ninth of the season on the power play 5:35 into the second period. With Josh Bailey in the penalty box serving a tripping penalty, Semin skated into the right faceoff circle and received a pass from Mike Green. Semin had to stop the puck just briefly and quickly fired the puck past Roloson to tie the game, 3-3.
Eric Fehr put the Capitals ahead late in the second period for his second goal of the season. Fehr sent what looked to be a centering pass over to Mathieu Perreault, however, the puck bounced off Jack Hillen and caromed towards the Islanders net. This threw Roloson off as the puck found its way in the back of the Islanders cage, to put Washington up 4-3.
The Islanders tied it up with 2:08 left in the third period on Trent Hunter’s second goal of the season - a power play goal.
"That third period was huge for us, to be able to draw the penalties against a team that prides themselves on their third periods," Gordon said. "It was good to see us come back."
Hunter, who has missed significant amount of time due to a torn pectoral muscle, took a John Tavares pass along the half boards and set himself up by the left faceoff circle. He waited for a few seconds and fired a laser of a slapshot over the shoulder of Varlamov to tie the game up, 4-4.
Hunter's goal was a career milestone for him - it was his 200th career point.
"There's nobody on our team that has a better release than Hunts," Gordon said. "He was in the right place at the right time."
Three Stars of the Game:
1. Semyon Varlamov, WSH: 25 saves coming off the bench for the win 2. Alexander Semin, WSH: Two goals, including a shootout marker. 3. Mark Streit, NYI: Goal, assist, four shots.
Need an extra five?: Whenever the Islanders and Washington Capitals meet, it’s almost certain the game will end up in overtime. Seven out of the last nine games that both teams have met needed an extra five minutes to decide the outcome - including all three games this season.
Slapshots: Washington outshot the Islanders, 41-31...Washington was 2-for-3 on power play opportunities, while the Islanders scored once on three man advantages...This was the start of a seven-game road trip, the third such road trip in team history (1981 and 2001)...This was the first time since Jan 23 and 25 that the Islanders have scored three goals in back-to-back first periods...Semin’s goal eight seconds into the game is the quickest goal to start a game against the Islanders (previously Kevin Hatcher, :09, 1/27/91)...Kyle Okposo (illness), Blake Comeau (illness), Doug Weight (upper body) were the Islanders scratches.