The Washington Capitals moved into first place in the Southeast Division with a 2-1 shootout victory over the New York Islanders on Thursday night at Verizon Center.
It’s the first time all season the Caps find themselves in a playoff position, let alone third in the Eastern Conference. They’re tied with the Winnipeg Jets with 38 points and technically lead the Southeast because they’ve played fewer games.
Winnipeg played at the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday night.
Washington won for the sixth time in its past eight games, handing New York just its second loss in the past seven. Defenseman Mike Green scored the Caps’ only regulation goal.
The Caps control their playoff hopes with 11 games left. Seven of those 11 are at home.
Green scored with 13 seconds left in the first period, and Kyle Okposo tied the score with 4:59 left in the third.
Nabokov and Caps goaltender Braden Holtby traded big saves to help the game get to the shootout.
After playing the first 31 games of the season without one, it was the Caps’ third shootout in the past six. They remained undefeated in the game-deciding skills competition.