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Capitals’ additions pay off late in win over Islanders
The Capitals made some bold moves at the trade deadline to bolster a slumping offense, and one of the team’s new pieces paid big dividends to help Washington beat the New York Islanders 2-1 in overtime Tuesday night at Verizon Center.
With Washington trailing 1-0 in the game’s final minute, Jason Arnott — acquired from the New Jersey Devils at the trade deadline Monday — took a feed from Alexander Ovechkin along the back boards and snapped a pass to Brooks Laich in front. Laich then buried a shot past Islanders netminder Nathan Lawson to force overtime with just 47.1 seconds left in regulation.
In the extra session, Ovechkin ended the Capitals’ eight-game overtime losing streak with a spectacular rush, single-handedly beating New York’s Frans Nielsen twice before faking out Lawson less than two minutes into overtime. The victory is Washington’s first in the extra session since Nov. 28.
“They missed the puck in our zone and I had full speed so it was kind of a pretty goal,” Ovechkin said. “I’ll take it.”
Washington had been frustrated most of the night by Lawson — who was making just his ninth NHL appearance — and was less than a minute from recording his first career shutout in the league. Fortunately for the Capitals, Michael Neuvirth was nearly as good in the opposite cage, only allowing a goal by Matt Moulson that put New York ahead 1-0 nearly halfway through the second period.
“We had nine shots [early] and two breakaways and when we don’t score I’m going, ‘Uh oh,’” Boudreau said. “I thought Neuvy did a good job of holding us in the game.”
Washington finally lit the lamp after Neuvirth was pulled late for an extra attacker. Ovechkin swung the puck along the boards behind the net to Arnott, who fed Laich in front for the equalizer.
“I saw [Ovechkin] put it around the net and I saw Brooksie going to the net and just tried to slide it to him. It went to him and he made a great play and put it in,” Arnott said.
“After Brooksie scored, I just knew we were going to win the game no matter what,” Neuvirth said.
The goal was the Capitals’ first at home since Ovechkin scored 66 seconds into a Feb. 12 game against the Kings — a scoreless span of 178 minutes and 6 seconds.
Fueled by the late equalizer, Ovechkin then sent the sellout crowd of 18,398 home 1:55 into the extra session, picking up the puck and stickhandling past Nielsen — twice — then deking out Lawson for the overtime winner.
“That was quite a goal,” Laich said afterwards. “Special players make those plays.”
Neuvirth earned the win with 28 saves, while Lawson was handed a hard-luck loss despite a 40-save effort.
“I thought [the win] was very important,” Boudreau said. “We scored one goal in 11 periods at home. It’s important to get the idea that teams can’t come into this building and win so easily.”
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About the Author
Ted Starkey, a Web editor for the continuous news desk, has written for and edited high-traffic websites, including AOL News, AOL Sports, FanHouse.com, USAHockey.com and BuffaloBills.com. He also has covered the 2002 and 2010 Winter Olympics, Stanley Cup playoffs, NFL, NHL, MLB and NCAA hockey during his career.
He is a graduate of American University, with a double major in ...
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