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New York Islanders “@” Washington Capitals [Conf. quarterfinals Game 5]

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The Islanders take their second shot at closing out the Caps.

New York Islanders v Washington Capitals - Game Four
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The New York Islanders have a second chance to close out the Capitals, and they’d of course be wise to make the most of it. While things looked great in the first period of Game 4 — as Dan and Mike discussed on Islanders Anxiety, it felt like we were cruising to a sweep — the Capitals punched back, and hard.

They were in this position last round, albeit in a smaller best-of-five, when they failed to sweep the Panthers in Game 3 but then roared back to end the series in Game 4.

Lineup complications? Possibly. Cal Clutterbuck, who took that submarine check from Radko Gudas in Game 4, has been changed to “game-time decision.”

Likewise Nicklas Backstrom, the rather significant Capitals star center who has been out since early in Game 1.

If you didn’t watch all that, specifically on Backstrom:

One of the things that stood out so sorely in Game 4 was how badly the Islanders power play’s struggle is hurting them. They have been outstanding at 5-on-5, but the Capitals were taking lots of desperation-game risks, without worry for the consequences. Add to it the Islanders’ untimely penalties and you have a horrible mix, getting them away from what they do best.

Anyway, onward. Tonight’s another chance. Game time is 8 p.m. EDT in Toronto.

All of the sudden, there are only four series still going in this round, with several ending at 4-1 over the past few days. Wouldn’t it be nice for the Islanders to add to that tally?