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Capitals 5 (2 EN), Islanders 2: Isles no longer control their playoff destiny

A dud against the Caps means the Islanders will need some help elsewhere to make the postseason.

New York Islanders v Washington Capitals
Photo by John McCreary/NHLI via Getty Images

Yeah that stunk. But if you didn’t expect this outcome, are you even an Islanders fan?? I’m amazed they even scored twice. I kept getting flashbacks to 2015 Game 7 in this same building, and that near no-show effort. It’s just so... Islanders.

Yes there’s injuries, yes they’ve had to play at an insane point pace just to get to this position. But come on. This was a depleted Caps team, and the Islanders had no answers for them in a must-win game. Now we have to hope the Penguins and Panthers lose games and that we take care of business against Montreal.

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It only took about a minute before the Islanders were down 2-0, off goals from Dylan Strome and Rasmus Sandin. The defense wasn’t great, but they also were probably shots Ilya Sorokin saves on a better night.

The Islanders did have their chances after that, and Darcy Kuemper and the post and crossbar helped to keep them scoreless, but then Ryan Pulock would make a careless turnover that resulted in a comedy of errors, including Adam Pelech tripping over Pulock’s stick, and Craig Smith, who seems to be an Islanders villain at this point, made it 3-0 13 minutes in.

JG Pageau ended up going 0 for 3 on breakaways, notably hitting the crossbar on one of those attempts, but probably the most woeful blown scoring chance, aside from every cursed power play, was the 3 on 1 where the Islanders just turned over the puck without even getting a shot away.

Hudson Fasching would give the Islanders a little bit of hope, making it 3-1 late in the third, but a too-early goalie pull would put the Islanders back in a three goal hole. Casey Cizikas made it 4-2, but again, another empty netter from the Capitals would sink the Islanders, 5-2.

Fortunately, the Panthers only got one point, thanks to... dun dun dun... John Tavares and the Toronto Maple Leafs, which puts the Islanders in a slightly better spot than they would’ve been in otherwise.

Up Next

Next, the New York Islanders play in their final game of the season on Wednesday, at home, against the Montreal Canadiens. Absolutely need a win there. The Panthers will be hosting the Hurricanes on Thursday, so we won’t know the result of that until after our game, and the Penguins host the Blackhawks tomorrow, and close out their season in Columbus on Thursday. Lotta scoreboard watching coming up.