In the first period, the Caps got back on track by finally scoring in the first 20 minutes. In the second period, Nicklas Backstrom got back on track by finally scoring.
Backstrom broke a month-long goalless drought to give the Caps a 2-1 lead over the Islanders.
Backstrom scored his first goal since December 1 on a play that he set up perfectly. Backstrom entered the zone and centered to Ovechkin, who powered his way into the slot. Ovechkin put a wrist shot on Rick DiPietro that the goaltender had a hard time corralling. Backstrom crashed the net and picked up the scraps for his 12th goal of the season at 3:38 to give the Capitals a 2-0 lead.
Less than two minutes later, the Islanders cut the lead in half. Michael Grabner found himself alone along the side boards and sprinted into the offensive zone. Grabner held off two Caps defensemen and fired a top-shelf backhand over Braden Holtby to make the game 2-1 at 5:15.
The Capitals and Islanders each have 18 shots on goal. Washington is also 4-4 on the penalty kill.