The New York Islanders got two goals from Andrew Ladd to edge the Washington Capitals 4-3 at the Barclays Center Tuesday night. Jaroslav Halak made 31 saves to earn the win for the Isles. The victory extended the Islanders win streak to three games and got the team back to the .500 mark for the season at 14-14-6.
The Islanders got goals from Ladd and Anders Lee just 43 seconds apart in the third period to take a 4-2 lead which they never relinquished. Lee blocked a shot attempt at the Isles blue line to create a breakaway. He was able to beat Braden Holtby five-hole on a breakaway to score the winning goal.
The Capitals had two power play chances in the final 5:15 of the game to tie the contest but the Islanders penalty kill came up big late in the game. Overall, the Capitals were 0-for-4 in the game with the extra attacker.
Justin Williams and Alex Ovechkin each had a goal and an assist for Washington.
The first period was a back and forth affair. The Islanders had the better chances early and drew first blood when Cal Clutterbuck poked home the rebound of a shot by Nikolay Kulemin. Kulemin did a good job of driving to the net to create the scoring chance.
A sloppy play by Nick Leddy led to Justin Williams’ tying goal at 13:24 of the opening period. Halak made two big saves but Williams scored on the third try after the turnover and the game was even 1-1.
The goal gave the Capitals momentum and they controlled the tempo from the midpoint of the period on. Washington outshot the Isles 13-10 over the first 20 minutes.
The Capitals had the better of the play for most of the second period. Although they had three chances with the man advantage, the Isles power play was sloppy and created few quality scoring chances.
The Islanders did take the lead when Andrew Ladd tapped home a centering pass by Thomas Hickey at 14:03. Hickey showed great patience on the play before feathering the pass to Ladd by the far post.
The Islanders were energized by their goal and carried the play over the final minutes of the middle stanza.
It didn’t take the Capitals long to even the score in the third period. Alex Ovechkin was left all alone in front of the Isles goal. He easily deposited the rebound of a Justin Williams shot past Halak to tie the game at 1:17 of the third period.
The Islanders regained the lead on Ladd’s second goal of the night at 4:41. Tom Wilson of the Capitals was shaken up after being hit by a shot attempt and the Islanders took advantage of the situation.
Then, Anders Lee extended the Isles lead at 5:24 when he blocked a shot attempt by Matt Niskanen and beat Holtby through the five-hole on a breakaway.
Another defensive breakdown by the Islanders set up a goal by Andre Burakowsky to pull Washington to within a goal with 6:55 left in the third period.
The Capitals had a pair of power-play chances late in the game but were unable to convert and the Islanders held on for the victory. Overall, the Capitals dominated the late stages of the game, taking the final 10 shots on goal, but they were unable to come up with the equalizer.
NYI – Cal Clutterbuck (3) assisted by Nikolay Kulemin and Ryan Strome
WSH – Justin Williams (8) assisted by Alex Ovechkin and Dmitry Orlov
NYI – Andrew Ladd (6) assisted by Thomas Hickey and Alan Quine
WSH – Alex Ovechkin (16) assisted by Justin Williams and Evgeni Kuznetsov
NYI – Andrew Ladd (7) assisted by Alan Quine and Thomas Hickey
NYI – Anders Lee (13) unassisted
WSH – Andre Burakovsky (4) assisted by Jay Beagle and Matt Niskanen
THW Three Stars
First: Andrew Ladd (2 goals)
Second: Anders Lee (GWG)
Third: Justin Williams (goal, assist)
New York Islanders vs Minnesota Wild
XL Energy Center – 8:00 PM EST on Thursday, December 29, 2016
Broadcast Channels: MSG-plus and Fox Sports-North
2016-17 Season Series: October 23, 2016: Islanders 6, Wild 3
Long time hockey writer and author of the new book, “Ice Wars: The Complete History of New York’s Greatest Modern Sports Rivalry.” It tells the story behind every game between the Rangers and Islanders dating back to 1972 and features profiles of more than 80 players from both teams and quotes from more than 50 exclusive interviews from players, coaches and broadcasters from both teams.