14 March 2012
Uniondale, NY -- Even with John Tavares scoring two goals and Travis Hamonic having a three-point night, the Islanders could not pull out a win and fell to the Washington Capitals 5-4 in the shootout.
The Islanders had a 4-1 lead before the Capitals scored three unanswered goals to tie the game in the third period. The loss marks the eighth time this season that the Islanders have blown a lead of two or more goals and ninth time they’ve lost when leading after two periods.
“We were playing a really good game tonight,” said a frustrated Travis Hamonic, who scored a goal and two assists in the loss. “It seemed they got a late one and then one early one to start the third. Maybe the wheels didn’t come off, but we got on our heels and just kind of down hill from there.”
“We know we should have had it locked up and we got to win this game,” He added later.
The Islanders opened the scoring at the 8:56 mark, scoring a wacky goal on Caps starting Michal Neuvirth. Matt Moulson’s shot went wide of the net, caromed off the glass, bounced off Neuvirth and into the net. Tavares was originally credited with the goal, but a scoring change was later made giving Moulson his 30th of the season.
Travis Hamonic added a second goal for the Islanders and Tavares added to the lead in the second period. Mike Knuble scored for the capitals at the 9:33 mark of the second period, 28 seconds after Tavares scored to cut it to a three-goal lead. Tavares made it 4-1 less than two minutes later. It was his 30th goal of the season and a new career high for the 21 year old.
But things took an all to familiar turn for the Islanders as the second period came to a close.
Alexander Ovechkin scored with less than a minute left. Then, Dmitry Orlov scored 1:51 into the third period to make it a one-goal game. Ovechkin tied the game midway through the period with his second goal of the night.
Matt Hendricks completed the Capitals’ comeback in the shootout scoring in the eight round to win the game.
“The last three periods of the last three games…it’s really unacceptable the way we’ve come out and not play the game we played during the forty minutes,” Tavares said. “We got to compete harder in those areas late in the game, play with confidence, play our game, and we’ve been in those situations before and we’ve won hockey games, so I don’t know why these last three have been like that.”
Islanders’ head coach Jack Capuano did night like his teams decision making late in the game,
“It’s your discipline and your decision making with the puck and that’s what hurts you,” he said after the game. “You have to make intelligent decisions when you have the puck on your stick and you have to recognize who your up against. We talked about (Alexander) Ovechkin all night and he was able to get a couple of chances and when he did it was in the back of the net.”
Capuano was specifically referencing both Ovechkin goals, which the Islanders allowed to make his way to the net undetected or gave him two or three chances after his initial shot.
“We had this one in good control, we were playing really good hockey, and [we] kind of eased up a bit and they put a couple in and they kept coming,” Moulson said. “I don’t know if there is one particular thing that lead to them scoring. I don’t really know exactly what the break down was, but it seems like we let up a little bit and they came back. They’re a good offensive team and put a couple in.”
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