Halak, 3 quick goals lead Islanders past Ovechkin, Caps 3-0
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Shane Prince, Brock Nelson and Jason Chimera produced three goals in less than 4 1/2 minutes of the third period Thursday night, leading the New York Islanders to their first three-game winning streak of the season with a 3-0 victory over the Washington Capitals.
Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak - who led eighth-seeded Montreal to an upset of Presidents' Trophy-winning Washington in the 2010 playoffs, then briefly played for the Capitals in 2014 - made 38 saves for his first shutout of the season and 40th of his NHL career.
New York entered with the fewest points in the Eastern Conference, including just one victory in eight road games, and was playing the second half of a back-to-back, while Washington was coming off a four-day break.
But Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals went 0 for 6 on the power play, making that once-vaunted unit 0 for 10 over the team's past two games, both losses.
On Thursday, Ovechkin was sent to the penalty box in the first period for interference, and in the second for slashing. That meant he entered the final period with twice as many penalties as shots on goal (one) for the evening.
Still, the game was scoreless until the final period.
At the 16:45 mark, Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov let the puck slide through his legs along the boards, and Casey Cizikas stole it, then fed Prince, who beat Braden Holtby for his fourth goal of the season.
Nelson made it 2-0 at 13:17, again after an Orlov error in his own end. John Tavares took a shot, and Nelson poked in the rebound. Exactly a minute later, former Capitals winger Chimera finished the flurry with his second goal in two games after having only one in the season's first 21 games.
The Capitals thought they led 1-0 after the first period on a power-play goal by Justin Williams right at the horn. But it was waved off on review; a replay showed the puck was still crossing the goal line when the clock hit 0.0.
A few minutes into the second period, Williams was down at center ice, leveled by a high hit from Cal Clutterbuck. Eventually, Williams got up and remained in the game. Later in that period, he sent a nice pass to Lars Eller, who was stopped from close range by Halak.
Capitals 2014 first-round draft pick Jakub Vrana made his NHL debut, skating on the second line with Evgeny Kuznetsov and Andre Burakovsky.
Vrana ranked third in the AHL with nine goals (in 18 games) before being recalled from Hershey on Wednesday, and he nearly put the puck in the net on his very first shift. Less than 1 1/2 minutes into the game, Vrana took a pass from Kuznetsov and, with his back to the net, tried to wrap a backhand around a defenseman, but Halak turned the shot aside.
NOTES: Washington D Matt Niskanen played after leaving the team's previous game with a lower-body injury. ... Capitals F T.J. Oshie missed his fifth consecutive game with an upper-body injury. ... Islanders D Dennis Seidenberg returned to action after missing seven games with an upper-body injury.
Islanders: Host the Red Wings on Sunday night, opening a three-game homestand that also includes games against the Rangers and Blues.
Capitals: Visit the Lightning on Saturday night.
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