The first goal of the game came with 8:54 played when a point shot from Matt Moulson deflected off Tavares and ricocheted onto the boards behind Washington's net. With goalie Michal Neuvirth standing straight up and turned around to follow the flight of the puck, the biscuit bounced off the end boards, bounced off Neuvirth's stomach and rolled into the net. The goal was officially credited to Tavares, his 29th of the season.
The Islanders doubled their advantage with just 20.6 seconds remaining, 26 seconds after Jay Beagle was sent to the penalty box for hooking. Travis Hamonic's centering pass deflected off the skates of John Carlson and into the net.
The Capitals entered tonight's game two points ahead of Buffalo in the race for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot and one point behind the Panthers for the Southeast Division lead.