Alex Ovechkin nets pair of goals as Capitals crush Islanders

League: NHL

Posted on: 12 Nov, 2023 at 03:17 AM

Credit: Thomas Salus-USA TODAY Sports

Nic Dowd and Aliaksei Protas both snapped lengthy goal-scoring droughts in the second period on Saturday night for the Washington Capitals, who continued surging with a 4-1 win over the New York Islanders in Elmont, N.Y.

Alex Ovechkin opened and closed the scoring with goals for the Capitals as he inched closer to Wayne Gretzky in his pursuit of the NHL's all-time goal record. With 826 goals, Ovechkin is 68 shy of tying Gretzky.

Dowd scored the go-ahead goal before Protas added some insurance late in the middle period for the Capitals, who won both ends of a back-to-back road set and are 6-1-1 in their past eight games. Dowd's goal was his first since March 23, while Protas' goal was his first since April 2.

Washington goaltender Hunter Shepard made 36 saves.

Alexander Romanov scored in the first period for the Islanders, who have lost four straight games (0-3-1) and five of their past six (1-3-2). Goalie Semyon Varlamov recorded 24 saves.

New York had six of the first nine shots of the game, but the Capitals scored first in quick-strike fashion following a faceoff win deep in the Islanders' zone. Evgeny Kuznetsov outdueled Jean-Gabriel Pageau and the puck bounced to Ovechkin, who fired a shot from the top of the left faceoff circle that sailed beyond Varlamov's glove at the 9:18 mark.

The Islanders took advantage of a turnover deep in the Capitals' zone to tie the score in the final minute of the period. Shepard's pass to defenseman Nick Jensen glanced off Jensen's skate and to New York center Bo Horvat, who sent a backhander into the slot. Romanov then fired a shot into the open net before Shepard could scramble back into position with 42.5 seconds left.

Dowd and Protas ended their droughts within a span of just over six minutes. Varlamov got a piece of Nicolas Aube-Kubel's backhander into the open corner of the net, but Dowd batted in the rebound with 6:55 left.

Capitals right winger Matthew Phillips emerged from a scrum behind the net with the puck and passed to a wide-open Protas, who beat Varlamov from point-blank range with 39.9 seconds remaining.

--Field Level Media