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Nabokov (11-7-3) has started all but four games this season, and ranks fourth among active goalies behind Martin Brodeur, Roberto Luongo and Nikolai Khabibulin with 322 career wins.

The 21-year-old Grubauer - Washington’s fourth-round choice and the 122nd pick in the 2010 draft - was recalled from AHL Hershey to replace backup Michal Neuvirth who has been ill. Braden Holtby had started 11 straight games.

The Islanders played a strong game after a hard-fought 2-1 overtime loss to the Rangers on Thursday. New York concluded the long homestand 3-2-2.

“We are moving in the right direction,” Islanders coach Jack Capuano said. “We did a lot well as a team today. We’ll enjoy this for a few minutes and get ready for Pittsburgh.”

The Islanders will play seven of their next 11 games on the road starting Sunday against the Penguins.

The Capitals (10-12-1) return home to play the Rangers on Sunday afternoon. Washington has 16 games in the next 29 days with 10 on the road, where Washington is just 3-7-1 on the season.

The game was the first meeting of the season between the teams. The Islanders visit Washington on March 26 and April 4.