Islanders end 2019 on a high note with win at Washington
The New York Islanders were looking to get off the snide to end 2019. After an impressive, gritty win over the Minnesota Wild on Sunday night the Isles turned their attention to capping off a very impressive year against the Washington Capitals. The Capitals’ former coach, Barry Trotz, was undefeated against his old team with the Islanders coming into Tuesday afternoon’s game.
The Islanders jumped off to an early lead when Casey Cizikas tipped a Scott Mayfield shot through his legs and into the net. Brock Nelson added to the lead in the first with a nice wrister that beat Braden Holtby through his pads. The Capitals were resilient all game long, with Evgeny Kuznetsov dekeing Semyon Varlamov out of his pads to make it a 2-1 game. Tom Wilson later tied the score when he was left alone in front.
The Islanders had a hard time picking up open Capitals in the slot, but they hunkered down as the game went on. Unfortunately, the Capitals took an early second period lead when Kuznetsov once again found himself open in the slot and shot one past Varlamov.
Matt Martin later sprung Casey Cizikas to tie the game at three. Cizikas shot one from the slot that looked to have deflected off a stick and past Braden Holtby. Later in the second, Tom Kuhnhackl took a beautiful feed from Mathew Barzal from behind the net and buried it up high on Holtby.
The Capitals had one last breath when Scott Mayfield took a late penalty with a little over a minute left in the game. The Capitals had a 6-on-4 to end the game but Varlamov stood on his head and kept the puck out of the net. Varly wound up making 36 saves to preserve the 4-3 victory.
The Islanders head into 2020 with a 25-10-3 record and a second place spot in the Metro Division. Their 53 points trail the Metro-leading Capitals by six, but they’ve played the least amount of games in the league. The Isles are now on a two game winning streak after losing three straight and getting away from their brand of Islander hockey.
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