Washington DC-Expectations were high entering tonight's Capitals game against the New York Islanders. Fresh off several big moves at the trade deadline, Washington was hoping to start the homestretch off with a bang in preparation for a Stanley Cup run. For the first 59:12, it was anything but an inspired performance.
However, Brooks Laich netted the game-tying goal with 48 seconds remaining, setting the stage for Alex Ovechkin.
Ovechkin scored his 25th goal at 1:55 into the overtime session on a crafty backhander and the Capitals won 2-1 in rousing fashion to redeem themselves in front of a home crowd.
The recent acquisitions of Jason Arnott, Dennis Wideman, and Marco Sturm provided an initial jolt as the Caps came out with some pep in their step, outshooting the Islanders 10-1 midway through the first. Sturm had a breakaway chance right off the bat, but his bid was stopped by Nathan Lawson as the Caps thoroughly outskated New York out of the gate.
Yet Washington's early burst of energy fizzled out at the first period horn. The Islanders were able to hold Washington off thanks to a pair of power plays, but the Caps fifth ranked PK unit rebounded from its recent slump to keep the game scoreless.
New York broke through at 10:08 of the second period with a Matt Moulson marker. John Carlson turned the puck over and PA Parenteau found Moulson for an easy goal on a two-on-one chance and the Islanders headed to the dressing room up 1-0 after two.
Michal Neuvirth made a dazzling save of his own on a late power play to keep Washington in it, and stopped 28 shots in the win.
The Capitals hadn't scored a goal at the Verizon Center since Alex Ovechkin's first period tally against the Kings and once Laich crashed the net to tie it, the weight was visibly lifted off their shoulders.