It’s official: the Caps and Islanders really, really hate each other. Game seven on Monday should be intense (and very loud).
The drama reached a fever pitch in game six after John Carlson shot a loose puck at Jaroslav Halak after the buzzer sounded. This was an injustice according to Kyle Okposo, so the Isles winger made a beeline to Carly. A brawl ensued.
The Caps did not close out the series on the road, but you knew that already.
For the millionth time, the Islanders got onto the scoreboard first. Brooks Orpik lost the play after going for a hit, so John Carlson was overwhelmed in covering John Tavares and company: 1-0 Isles. Late in the period, that same Carlson gave the Caps power play a shot in the arm with a big goal. The second period was wild but scoreless.
Wild Butt Scoreless is the name of my Poison cover band.
Midway through the third period, everything happened in a single play. A rumble along the bench went unwhistled, so Ovechkin creamed Tavares into the glass, and then somehow Kulemin was all alone to beat Braden Holtby. Beagle hit the crossbar, and then Clutterbuck got the empty netter.
Islanders beat Caps 3-1. The series is tied 3-3. Gay sev on Monday.
Matt Niskanen is usually a pretty steady player who doesn’t look for big hits. But when he does look to lower the boom, boy is it brutal.
Late in the second period of game six, former Capital Mikhail Grabovski tried to carry the puck behind Braden Holtby‘s net. Instead, he was crushed with a beautiful shoulder-to-shoulder hit by Niskanen.
If the Caps win today in game six, not only will they advance to the second round of the playoffs, but they’ll also close Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum forever. Next year, the Islanders are moving to Brooklyn, NY, to play in the Barclays Center.
When CSN Washington’s Chuck Gormley asked Caps captain Alex Ovechkin about this possibility on Friday, he strayed from the team’s message that it was just another game.
Thursday’s 5-1 win over the New York Islanders was the best Capitals’ playoff victory win since 2009. Now, if the Caps can get just one goal over the Isles, they can advance to the next round and shut down Nassau Coliseum for good.
Crash the net. Finish the fight. Shut down the barn.