Isles Insights: Capitals hand Islanders latest loss as season winds down

Mar 15, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Washington Capitals right wing T.J. Oshie (77) scores a goal a against the New York Islanders during the first period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK —  What’s left to say…

The Islanders suffered their ninth loss in their last 10 games on Thursday night at the hands of the Washington Capitals. The visiting Caps scored a late first-period goal to snap a 2-2 tie and then scored twice in the second period and twice in the third to defeat the Islanders 7-3.

Brock Nelson, Andrew Ladd and Ryan Pulock scored for the Islanders in the loss.

It was a goal from Dmitry Orlov that broke open the game at 17:17 of the first period. Andre Burakovsky scored 3:12 into the second to put Washington up by two and Nicklas Backstrom gave the Caps a three-goal lead.

Joh Carlson scored to make it 6-2 at 15:41 of the third, while Pulock scored to cut the lead back to three goals. T.J. Oshie scored an empty-net goal before the final buzzer.

Isles Insights

1. Thursday’s game was an uneventful one for most of the 60-minute contest. The Islanders and Capitals combined for five goals in the first period, but the pace of things slowed to a near halt after the first. It wasn’t the worst effort the Islanders have had this season, but for a team that was talking about have some small shot at making the postseason there wasn’t a lot of desperation.

“It was a little bit of a quiet game, but we generated more than they did. They won,” Islanders head coach Doug Weight said.

2. Christopher Gibson came back down to earth on Thursday night surrendering five goals on 12 shots before being yanked in the second period for Jaroslav Halak. The loss to the Caps was the shakiest start the 25-year-old netminder has had this season and the five goals against were the most that he has surrendered in his four starts this year.

There are certainly a few goals that Gibson would have liked to have had back and the rookie goalie also had a couple bad bounces that made his job even tougher. “I didn’t feel bad for him,” Weight told the media after the game. “Enough’s enough. It was five goals and we needed a spark. Just thought I’d get him out.”

3.  “It’s brutal. I mean we need all these points that we can get and we outshoot them, but they just got a lot of good, quality chances. There was just small breakdowns that we shouldn’t be doing.” — Johnny Boychuk on the loss

4. Tom Wilson reacquainted himself with the Islanders last night. A first-period incident between Wilson and Casey Cizikas sparked a rather drawn out attempt by the Isles for some revenge. The two collided with Cizikas taking the brunt of the hit. Ross Johnston attempted to even the score with Wilson, but the two never dropped the gloves.

Later another incident erupted in the second period that started near the Islanders net and ended at the blueline. All of which occurred after the whistle and in the middle of it all Cal Clutterbuck took a rather unnecessary penalty. The Caps scored on the ensuing power play.

5. Andrew Ladd scored for the first time since December 26. That’s 26 games he went without a goal. His first-period goal on Thursday helped the Islanders even the game at two. Ladd was happy to get that monkey off his back, but I’m sure he would have liked the win even more.

“When it goes that long it’s something you think about,” Ladd said. “It’s nice to get the monkey off your back. Now hopefully from there, confidence builds and you can pop a few more.”

6. Doug Weight channeled his inner John Tortorella for a brief moment after the game. MSG Plus’ Stan Fischler asked why the top hasn’t been doing more lately. Weight paused for a moment and then said: “There’s only so many questions I can answer. You should ask them before you come here.”

Weight did expand on that thought and answered the question, but still very reminiscent of this memorable post game moment from the former New York Rangers coach.


7. If you’re looking for some sort of a bright side from Thursday night, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers had a comeback win over the Rochester Americans, 6-4. Travis St. Denis recorded his first professional hat trick and had a five point night. The Sound Tigers are in a playoff chase of their own, sitting five points behind the Charlotte Checkers.

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