Highlights: Capitals 3, Islanders 2 (OT)
Sudden thoughts and second thoughts as the Capitals enjoy a day of rest following a three-games-in-four nights stretch that ended with Saturday night’s remarkable 3-2 win on Long Island:
How it happened: Who would have thought that an interference penalty to Mike Green with 70 seconds remaining in regulation and the Caps defending an empty net, would lead to Nicklas Backstrom’s game-tying shorthanded goal with 48.5 seconds left? And that Backstrom’s goal would lead to Alex Ovechkin’s overtime snap shot past Islanders goaltender Anders Nilsson at the 2:07 mark of overtime?
What it means: After four straight losses, two of them by shootout, the Caps have won two in a row, one by shootout and one in overtime, giving them a 14-11-2 record and 30 points. The Caps remain in second place in the Metropolitan Division, seven points behind the first-place Pittsburgh Penguins and two ahead of the third-place New York Rangers.
Mo-vember to remember: The Capitals went 9-4-2 in the month of November. Eight of those 15 games went beyond regulation play. The Caps won four of those games by shootout and two of them in overtime. It will be interesting to see how many cleanly shaven faces are in the Caps’ locker room on Monday morning. For the record, Karl Alzner had the best mustachio of them all.
Inside the box score: After having trouble with penalties during their four-game losing streak, the Caps committed just two against the Islanders on Saturday night, including Green’s goal-saving interference penalty that led to Backstrom’s short-handed goal.
Ovi watch: Ovechkin’s led the Caps with seven shots and his 21st goal of the season moved him past Alex Steen and into first place in the race for his second straight Maurice Richard Trophy.
Erat-ic: Marty Erat logged 10:28 of ice time and recorded an assist on Aaron Volpatti’s second-period goal in his first game back in the lineup following three healthy scratches. Erat, who centered a line with Volpatti and Tom Wilson, also blocked two shots and won 3 of 6 faceoffs. Wilson led the Caps with six hits. Jay Beagle, who centered a third line Jason Chimera and Joel Ward, had five hits.
Orly watch: Defenseman Dmitry Orlov took 14 shifts for 13:41 of ice time. He saw no power play or penalty killing time and recorded one shot.
What’s next: The Caps return to Kettler at 10:30 a.m. on Monday. They’ll open their December schedule with home games against the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday and Nashville Predators on Saturday.