- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Thomas Hickey scored a goal  2:13 into overtime as the New York Islanders rallied from two goals down in the third period to beat the Washington Capitals, 4-3, on Tuesday night to clinch a playoff berth.

Hickey returned to the game after being cut by a skate and beat Braden Holtby to complete the comeback. Holtby allowed four goals on 27 shots and lost in his first attempt to tie Martin Brodeur’s single-season record for wins by a goaltender.

John Tavares, Kyle Okposo and Anders Lee also scored for New York, which got a 29-save performance from Christopher Gibson in his first career start.

Alex Ovechkin scored his league-leading 46th and 47th goals of the season, and T.J. Oshie also scored for Washington, which has three games remaining for Holtby to attempt to tie or break Brodeur’s record.

Ovechkin opened the scoring on the Capitals‘ second shot on goal against Gibson. Washington’s captain skated to the boards and fired a wrister from a bad angle short side on Gibson 4:29 into the game.

Tavares tied the score 13:33 into the second period when his shot went off Holtby’s glove and in. The goal was Tavares’ 31st of the season.

Goals by Oshie and Ovechkin at 1:45 and 6:56 of the third period gave the Capitals a 3-1 lead.

However, the Islanders were quick to answer. A weird bounce off the end boards caught Holtby and the Capitals‘ defense by surprise, leading to Okposo’s goal at 8:40.

Less than two minutes later, Lee deflected Nick Leddy’s shot past Holtby for the tying goal that Holtby had almost no chance of stopping. Dmitry Orlov misplayed Lee in front, leaving him wide open for the redirection.

Gibson, making his second appearance amid a torrent of goaltending injuries, stopped Evgeny Kuznetsov on a breakaway in overtime, paving the way for Hickey to get the game-winner.

Islanders defenseman Brian Strait left the game late in the second period with an upper-body injury and didn’t return. The injury is another blow to New York’s blue line, which was already without Travis Hamonic and Calvin de Haan. Right wing Cal Clutterbuck also didn’t play because of an apparent leg injury suffered Monday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Meanwhile, Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom missed his third consecutive game with an unspecified upper-body injury.


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