Islanders battle back to earn a point against Caps

Washington Capitals goalie Semyon Varlamov stops an overtime

Washington Capitals goalie Semyon Varlamov stops an overtime shootout scoring attempt by the New York Islanders' Jon Sim (16). The Capitals defeated the Islanders, 5-4, in an 11-round shootout at the Verizon Center. (November 11, 2009) Photo Credit: MCT/GEORGE BRIDGES

advertisement | advertise on newsday

WASHINGTON - Blink and you would've missed the goals that left the Capitals and Islanders tied at 1 after 62 seconds of play.

Went to go grab a snack? Well, then you would've missed the Islanders finding the back of the net twice more to take a 3-1 lead at 6:54.

But if your blood pressure endured the rest of last night's high-octane goal-fest, you would've seen the Islanders fall, 5-4, to the Capitals in an exhausting, 11-round shootout in which they had eight chances to earn the full two points.

Despite squandering a 3-1 lead by giving up three unanswered goals, the Islanders surged back and tied it late in the third on a power play with Trent Hunter's slap shot goal at 17:52. The score sent the Islanders into overtime for the eighth time.

"It's definitely not a second period we're proud of," said Hunter, who played in his first game since suffering a chest injury Oct. 8. "But it was good for us that we were able to battle back and get a point."


Jeff Tambellini and Alexander Semin scored in the opening rounds of the shootout, and after the score remained 1-1 for eight more rounds, the Caps' Chris Clark broke the stalemate by scoring the winner against Dwayne Roloson.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

"Eventually, someone's got to crack," Hunter said, "but Roloson gave us every opportunity to win, and sometimes they just don't go in for you."

Semin, who had two goals and a shootout goal, tied the Capitals' franchise record for the quickest goal, beating Roloson with a scorcher from the right circle only eight seconds into the game.

After the Capitals' quick strike, the Islanders scored three unanswered goals. That burst drained the life out of fans at the Verizon Center and left goaltender Jose Theodore to find a cozy spot along the Washington bench after less than seven minutes of service.

Matt Moulson, Mark Streit and Sean Bergenheim scored the goals that gave the Islanders a 3-1 lead.

"I liked the fact we responded after their first goal," coach Scott Gordon said.

The Capitals responded, proving that even without Alexander Ovechkin they can score. Washington roared back to take a 4-3 lead as Semyon Varlamov stepped into goal and delivered a rock-solid performance.

But Hunter beat him with his slap shot that helped the Islanders begin their seven-game trip with a point.

"It's big to come back on a team like that," Gordon said. "They pride themselves on their third periods and putting teams away and they couldn't do it."

Notes & quotes: Blake Comeau, who was not feeling well, did not play or take the team charter to Carolina. Comeau is expected to decide this morning whether he will rejoin the team or fly back to Long Island. Kyle Okposo (swine flu) and Doug Weight (upper-body injury) also did not play.

Subscribe to Newsday’s sports newsletter for stories, photos and videos about your favorite New York teams plus national sports news and events.

Comments now uses Facebook for our comment boards. Please read our guidelines and connect your Facebook account to comment.

You also may be interested in: