Caps beat Islanders 4-3 after super-bad start

Weird that the Washington Capitals hadn’t played the New York Islanders until today, January 16. This long-awaited, intra-divisional matchup started real, real ugly. It got better.

Sebastian Aho got credit for a point shot that bounced off TJ Oshie, then Matt Martin got credit for deflecting a shot from Alexander Romanov. By the end of the first period, the Caps were down 2-0.

The second period starting off poorly with Hudson Fasching getting a soft one against Darcy Kuemper. The Caps got on the board with a poker-poke by Garnet Hathaway under Isles goalie Ilya Sorokin, then Tom Wilson took a great pass from Nicklas Backstrom to make it 3-2 after two periods.

With a single touch from the slot, TJ Oshie tied it in the third period. That earned the Caps a loser point, which Orlov amended in overtime.

Caps win!

  • I think these were the best games we’ve seen from Nicklas Backstrom and Tom Wilson since their return. Backstrom’s playmaking is indisputably in tact. Wilson got his first goal since April. Look at this setup:
  • Nic Dowd got banged up by Cal Clutterbuck early in the first period. He suffered a lower-body injury (looked like knee to me) and did not return. That immediately fizzled Peter Laviolette’s revamped lines for the game, as they had to improvise for 55 minutes.
  • Darcy Kuemper had a bad night even before he needed medical attention in the third period. Aho and Martin’s goals came through a lot of traffic, but I don’t think he had a good excuse for the Fasching goal, and that guy’s name freaks me out. I think I’m antifasching. At the end of regulation, Kuemper allowed three goals on 2.67 expected goals.
  • I just want to complain about the digital board ads again. I hate them. If they were static images and if they worked as intended, I think I’d be fine with it. But they’re not and they don’t, so I’m not.
  • Alex Ovechkin rocked forward Jean-Gabriel Pageau along the boards. The officials considered giving Ovechkin a major penalty but then decided it was not a penalty at all. This seems like the right call, though Pageau looked wobbly after the hit. He later returned to the game, so I hope he’s alright. I almost wrote “so I’m sure he’s alright,” but I don’t have that kind of faith in the NHL folks.

That was a very bad start to a very impactful game. I’m grateful the Caps dug deep to get back into it at all, let alone win. I’m also grateful to the FBI for reminding me that today is MLK Day.

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Read More: Caps beat Islanders 4-3 after super-bad start 2023-01-17 03:18:49

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