Head coach Adam Oates may have summarized the Capitals victory over the New York Islanders best in his post-game press conference: “most complete effort” “best game [of the season]” “most ready to play” “best first period of the season”. The Capitals scored 5 second period goals to coast to a 6 to 2 victory, their third straight win. The Capitals are now in second place in the Metropolitan Division.
Here are the “snapshots” I would have taken if I were rink side with the photographers (instead of in the press box):
Snapshot 1: Alex Ovechkin returned to the ice after missing two games due to injury. He looked great from the start with several scoring chances in his first shift. 2 goals, 1 assist, 4 shots and 2 hits in over 18 minutes of ice time. His two goals give him 12 for the season, good for second place in the NHL.
Snapshot 2: Nicklas Backstrom entered the game leading the Capitals in assists with 11. His passing has helped Ovechkin lead the team in goals. However, in the two games when Ovechkin was out for injury, Backstrom looked for his shot more, scoring 3 goals. When asked after the game how he personally prepared differently when Ovechkin was in or out of the lineup, he explained “you try not to do anything differently…[but] you are trying to look for him [because] he has a better shot.”
Snapshot 3: Tom Wilson had the best game of his young NHL career. He had his first assist (Alexander Urbom’s goal in the second), his first goal (power play goal on a pass from Ovechkin) and even the best hit of the night (on Thomas Hickey in the first). The assist was his best play of the day. Wilson skated towards the net, shot and slid past the goal. On his backside, he passed across the crease into the slot to Urbom for the goal. Later, with 7 seconds remaining in the game, Matt Carkner shoved Wilson down, and according to Wilson, said he has giving Wilson a chance for a Gordie Howe hat trick (a goal, an assist and a fight). Wilson declined.
All of this in 10 minutes of ice time.
Snapshots 4 thru 10: The defensive corps of John Carlson, Urbom, Mike Green, Steve Oleksy, Nate Schmidt and Karl Alzner entered the game with a combined 1 goal (Carlson) on 121 shots. Mike Green personally is 0 for 37, taking the second most shots on the team. Last night, Carlson scored his second goal and Urbom scored his first.
Backstrom passed Sergei Gonchar (132) for sixth place on the Capitals all-time power-play assists list.
Urbom’s second-period goal marked his first point as a member of the Capitals.
Marcus Johansson scored his first goal of the season.
The Capitals went 4 for 6 on the power play. They are now 27.9% on the PP, leading the NHL.
The Capitals stopped all 5 Islanders power plays. They are now 91.5% on the PK, leading the NHL.