Instant analysis of the Capitals’ 3-2 loss to the New York Islanders Tuesday night at Verizon Center:
How it happened: The Caps came out with a lot of fire and dominated the first five minutes of the game, but the Islanders scored at the end of a long shift by the Caps’ top line and used that momentum to score from almost the same spot less than 3 minutes later for a 2-0 lead. The Caps took control of the game in the second period when Mike Ribeiro and John Carlson scored even-strength goals. But a miscue by Mike Green at the side of his net allowed Matt Moulson to grab the loose puck and set up John Tavares for the game-winner with 5:18 remaining.
What it means: The Caps fell from 10th place to 11th in the Eastern Conference standings, two points behind the ninth-place Islanders and four behind the eighth-place Rangers.
Big kill: With the score tied at 2 midway through the third period the four-man unit of Jay Beagle, Brooks Laich, Karl Alzner and Jack Hillen killed off an interference penalty to Matt Hendricks. The Caps then went on their own power play when Nicklas Backstrom drew a holding penalty on Kyle Okposo, but could not convert, going 0-for-3 on the night.
Hit of the night: Caps defenseman Dmitry Orlov laid out Islanders hit man Matt Martin along the defensive left wing boards midway through the second period and on the ensuing rush Mike Ribeiro scored to draw the Caps within 2-1.
Streaking Ovi: Alex Ovechkin had his five-game goal streak snapped but picked up an assist on Carlson’s goal to extend his point streak to six games [6 goals, 4 assists].
What’s next: The Caps have a complete day off on Wednesday, then hit the ice for two days of practice at Kettler on Thursday and Friday. They begin a three-game road trip Saturday night in Bufalo, followed by an Easter Sunday visit to Philadelphia and a game in Carolina Tuesday night, the last game before the April 3 trade deadline. After that the Caps play eight of their final 12 games at home.