The New York Islanders' four-game road trip did not begin well.
After opening a 1-0 lead on a John Tavares power play goal (and to be fair, some good Evgeni Nabokov saves on the penalty kill) in the first period (shots: 11-11), things changed in a hurry in the second period.
The Washington Capitals reeled off four of the game's next five goals in a five-minute span, torching the Islanders' penalty kill and making Evgeni Nabokov look like a junior goalie thrust into NHL-level shooting.
The Islanders had defensive breakdowns, but Nabokov was beat cleanly from distance on three separate occasions, John Carlson's being the most glaringly poor positioning. By the time the dust settled, the Capitals had a 4-2 lead just 8:10 into the second. By the time the second intermission began, Alex Ovechkin had made it 5-2 with his second power play goal.
To complete the scoring at 6-2, Tom Wilson added another power play goal at 15:59 of the third, on a nice redirect but one that pass Nabokov at Segway speed.
Watch the damage for yourself, and anticipate Kevin Poulin's next start:
Random Notes of ... Oh, I Give Up
- Drive-by Clutterbucking: Matt Carkner felt the side effects of Clutterbucking when Cal Clutterbuck took a run at Brooks Laich and high-sticked Carkner in the process. No major blood, it appeared, but a consequence of having a guy run around and bang into things to "get the energy going."
- First PP: Thomas Vanek didn't get an assist on the play and maybe he didn't deserve one for the cutesy play, but he tried a between-the-legs pass to Kyle Okposo from the doorstep to the low slot, which didn't connect but was open for Frans Nielsen to poke it across the slot, where John Tavares gratefully hurled the puck into the open side of the net.
- Not for nothing, Matt Donovan looked fantastic handling the puck on the latter shift of that first power play.
- Danish Jewels: Frans Nielsen took a shot from the point in the, ahh, "lower body" which had him in visible agony as he crumpled and then mad his way to the bench. No lingering damage, he was back out there for the next shift.
- First PK: Not long after, Pierre-Marc Bouchard took a hooking penalty and the Islanders survived the penalty kill with some rugby scrumming in the corner and four saves by Evgeni Nabokov.
- Then it all fell apart. The Islanders were 0 for 5 on their power play, the Capitals ended up 4 for 7 with just 3:40 in elapsed time with the extra man.
- Kyle Okposo scored to briefly tie it at 2-2, just 17 seconds after Ovechkin's first goal. It was an opportunistic breakout started behind the Islanders net by Andrew MacDonald, with Tavares dishing to Okposo before taking his man to the net.
But I gave up after that. Bad game, bad goaltending. Probably something about passengers too.