WASHINGTON — The Islanders left town angrier than they were when they arrived. And they were fairly annoyed to start, both at comments the Capitals made the night before and with Tom Wilson.
The emotion was even more raw after they were swept in the home-and-home series. The Islanders lost to Washington, 6-3, on Friday night in an increasingly chippy game at Capital One Arena as the Capitals went 3-for-8 on the power play.
“The game did not get away from us,” Islanders coach Doug Weight said. “We worked at it. It was poorly officiated. You can’t sit in the box against that team.”
The Islanders (30-31-10) — who also scored three power-play goals Friday — lost to the Capitals, 7-3, at Barclays Center on Thursday night. They are in a 1-6-4 slide that has dropped them 10 points behind the Devils (who have a game in hand) for the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot.
The Capitals (41-23-7) won their fourth straight as Braden Holtby made 22 saves.
Jaroslav Halak, who stopped eight of nine shots after relieving Christopher Gibson on Thursday, made 25 saves on Friday.
Weight was not thrilled with some of the comments from the Capitals after Thursday’s loss. Left wing Andre Burakovsky said the Islanders “just gave us a lot of ice to skate on” and coach Barry Trotz said his team had an “easy” time of it, though that was within the context of the Capitals not playing particularly well but getting some breaks.
Weight called the comments “eye-opening.”
“For sure, it stings,” said Brock Nelson, whose power-play goal at 13:52 of the third period brought the Islanders within 5-2 before John Tavares made it 5-3 with another power-play goal at 16:14. “Whenever somebody says that about your team, it’s a shot at all of us.”
Mathew Barzal’s power-play goal at 5:30 of the second period tied the score at 1 as the game continued to get chippier.
That came to a head at 6:08 of the second period. The Islanders already were unhappy with Wilson for leaving his feet to hit Casey Cizikas, who had to go through the concussion protocol on Thursday night. Ross Johnston finally dropped the gloves with Wilson and was whistled for an extra two-minute instigator minor as well as a game misconduct. That became a five-on-three for the Capitals at 6:19 as Cal Clutterbuck took a run at T.J. Oshie and was called for interference.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for Ross and what he does out there,” Cizikas said. “Wilson, he’s a tough guy. For him to stand up like that takes a lot of guts.”
Weight said Johnston received the game misconduct for throwing his helmet to the ice. “Which is never called,” Weight said. “They [referees Francois St. Laurent and Dan O’Rourke] didn’t want to deal with it.”
Weight moved Anthony Beauvillier into Anders Lee’s spot on Tavares’ left wing to start, then loaded up his top line by putting Barzal with Tavares and Josh Bailey in the second.
Notes & quotes: Clutterbuck suffered an unspecified injury early in the second period and was unable to continue in the third period . . . The Professional Hockey Writers’ Association voted to make every members’ ballot public within two days of the NHL Awards ceremony in June. PHWA members vote for the Hart, Norris, Calder, Selke, Lady Byng and Masterton winners . . . Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov (upper body) left the game with 5.3 seconds left in the second period after going hard into the end boards as he was slashed by Thomas Hickey.