Both the Capitals and New York Islanders combined for five goals in a crazy first period and it looked like we were headed for a high-scoring, back-and-forth affair on Thursday.
After the first, however, the Capitals kept on scoring, but shud down the Islanders in a 7-3 win.
Brock Nelson struck first for the Islanders who were buzzing, but Lars Eller, T.J. Oshie and Dmitry Orlov all scored to help give the Caps a 3-2 lead after 20 minutes. Then Philipp Grubauer shut the door, allowing only one goal the rest of the game.
Six different Capitals scored in the seven-goal effort. Both teams will meet again Friday for the rematch in Washington.
Here are the three stars of the game:
1. Andre Burakovsky: Burakovsky looked like the Caps’ most dangerous weapon as he zipped all over the ice. His speed made him a factor all game long. Not only did he set up T.J. Oshie to help him snap his goal drought, he also scored on a beautiful deflection off a lengthy Jakub Jerabek shot.
2. T.J. Oshie: Boy did he need that one. Oshie snapped a 19-game scoreless drought in the first period as he roofed the puck past Christopher Gibson. Andre Burakovsky fed Oshie for the shot and Oshie hesitated slightly to force Gibson to commit, giving Oshie an open top to shoot at.
For a player on a lengthy drought, Oshie showed a lot of poise by not rushing the shot initially, but waiting for Gibson to put himself in a helpless position. Oshie also added an empty-netter for his second goal of the game, his first two-goal effort since Nov. 14.
3. Philipp Grubauer: This game was wide open at the start as both teams combined for five goals in the first period. New York continued flying in the second period, but the scoring dried up as Grubauer shut the door on the Islanders. After giving up two goals in the first, Grubauer allowed only one more goal despite facing 26 shots and it came when the result was no longer in doubt. Grubauer's play allowed the Caps to pull away despite getting outshot 38-22 for the game.
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