The most staggering statistic in Washington’s 7-2 rout of the Islanders?
Reigning league MVP Alex Ovechkin did not even register a point.
Unlike the previous three meetings between the Islanders and Capitals, there was no need for an overtime period or shootout last night. The Islanders couldn’t hang with the Eastern Conference-leading Capitals, who won their seventh straight game after clobbering the Islanders at Nassau Coliseum last night.
The Capitals proved to be a well-balanced juggernaut as six different players scored two points. Alexander Semin scored twice for the Capitals, and Brendan Morrison, Mike Knuble, John Erskine , Jason Chimera, and Brooks Laich all chipped in a goal each.
“Their skill kind of took over,” captain Doug Weight said. “We gave them a little confidence early and they were tic-tac-toe-ing the puck around and made us looks stupid.”
The Capitals' onslaught began only 1:05 into the first period after Morrison deflected Erskine’s shot from the left point and Semin extended Washington’s lead to two goals with his wrist shot from the left circle at 4:49.
With his fourth power-play goal of the season, Rob Schremp cut the Capitals lead in half, however firing from the left dot to beat Capitals goaltender Jose Theodore over his right glove at 6:03.
The Capitals scored twice more—on Knuble’s power-play tally at 18:13 and Semin's crushing goal with 5.2 left in the first—before the Islanders made a swap in goal.
Islanders goaltender Dwayne Roloson was pulled for the third time this season after giving up four goals on 12 shots and replaced in net by Rick DiPietro (Theodore also left the game and was replaced by Michal Neuvirth in the third period).
“Mentally, I didn’t want him to get beaten up in a game where they were at their top,” Scott Gordon said.
The Capitals scored a pair of goals on DiPietro in the middle frame, and while Kyle Okposo scored his 12th of the season from point-blank range on a goal-line feed from John Tavares at 9:35, the Islanders had a daunting 4-goal deficit to surmount in the third period.
Brooks Laich gave the Capitals their seventh goal of the night by slicing between Bruno Gervais and Doug Weight and going top-shelf against DiPietro at 14:52 of the third to staunch any hopes of a comeback.
“Just a bad game all-around,” said DiPietro, who made 18 saves last night.
Beyond the Islanders’ dispiriting defeat, the Islanders were hit with another loss.
Defenseman Jack Hillen had to be taken to the hospital after being hit in the face by a blistering slapshot from Alex Ovechkin in the first period. Hillen, who was dripping blood from his mouth, left behind a smear of blood on the ice after skating off the ice with assistance from a team trainer.
“We saw Jack after the game and he was a little hazy, but aware,” Weight said. “Whether it’s your teammate or not, that’s one where you just get on your knees and hope the guy is okay.”
With Hillen injured for the immediate future (will update as soon as I hear), The Islanders will recall Bridgeport defenseman Dustin Kohn