Islanders offense erupts in win over playoff-seeking Capitals

Brock Nelson and Anders Lee scored first-period goals, Mathew Barzal had three assists and Semyon Varlamov made 26 saves as the New York Islanders routed the Washington Capitals 5-1 on Thursday night.

JG Pageau, Kyle Palmieri and Josh Bailey added third-period goals for the Islanders, who swept a home-and-away streak with the Capitals in the playoffs this week and improved to 20-15-5 at home.

The Islanders are 16-10-2 in their last 28 games, but will conclude a disappointing campaign without a playoff spot at home on Friday against Tampa Bay, the defending Stanley Cup champions who defeated them last June. in the semi-finals.

Nelson opened the scoring with his team-leading 37th goal at 10:48 of the first period on the power play. Mathew Barzal and Noah Dobson attended.

Lee made it 2-0 at 15:34, tipping the puck past Washington goaltender Vitek Vanecek for his 28th goal. Barzal and Dobson each helped again.

The Islanders beat Capitals goaltender Vitek Vanecek in the third period.
Corey Sipkin for the NY POST

The goal was the 212th of Lee’s career, edging out Derek King for tenth in Islanders history. Lee also played his 595th game with the franchise, passing John Tonelli, who has 206 career goals. Lee, Tonelli and King all wore number 27 for the Islanders.

Dobson leads the defense with 37 assists and 50 total points.

Pageau scored his 17th on a breakaway at 3:44 of the third just after the Islanders killed a four-minute power play for Washington when Adam Pelech took two minor penalties for cross-checking on the same play.

Palmieri made it 4-0 at 6:23 with his 15th goal. Josh Bailey and Robin Salo helped.

The Islanders celebrate their win over the Capitals.
The Islanders celebrate their win over the Capitals.
Corey Sipkin for the NY POST

Bailey added his 13th at 1:37 with another assist to Barzal, who has a team record 43 assists.

Varlamov’s shutout was ruined with 41.4 seconds left on an Axel Jonsson-Fjallby goal.

Vanecek made 21 saves in the Capitals’ loss.

The Islanders were coming off a 4-1 win at Washington on Tuesday when Ryan Pulock and Dobson each scored on the power play as New York ended a five-game winless streak. The win ended the Islanders’ road season at 17-19-5.

The Islanders miss the playoffs for the first time since 2017-18. After reaching the Eastern Conference Finals twice in a row, the current season has been a disappointment almost from the start.

After a 13-game road trip at the start of the season, they went 0-5-2 in their first seven games at the new UBS Arena from late November.

They then had to endure several missing players with COVID-19 several nights in November and December. They will have played 33 games in the last two months of the season, making up postponed games in a condensed schedule.

Washington remained one point behind Pittsburgh for third place in the Metropolitan Division, with each team having one game to play on Friday.

New York Post

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