Ovechkin puts team on his back with 2 goals as Caps fight off elimination

Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal in the third period against the New York Islanders in game four of the first round of the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena.
© John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Capitals will live to play another day. Washington rallied from a 2-0 deficit thanks to two goals from Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals staved off elimination with a 3-2 win over the New York Islanders on Tuesday.

Evgeny Kuznetsov's second period goal sparked the comeback and Ovechkin did the rest as Washington now trails in the series 3-1.

Here is how the Caps won.

Kuznetsov brings Caps back from the brink

Washington’s first period was atrocious. The team gave up three power play opportunities and trailed 2-0 by the end of the opening frame. When Mathew Barzal gave New York the 2-0 lead, the Islanders had more goals than the Caps had shots on goal (1). In the second period, Washington was given 1:35 of a 5-on-3 power play and promptly was called for offsides and a hooking penalty on T.J. Oshie. At that moment, it looked like the season was over, but just 26 seconds later Kuznetsov gave the team life.

Taking the puck in the defensive zone, Kuznetsov casually stickhandled his way through the neutral zone and deceptively turned on the jets to get behind the Islanders' defense, turn the corner and tucked the puck under the pad of Semyon Varlamov.

The obituaries were being written on the Caps’ season when Oshie was led to the box ending the team’s 5-on-3 power play. Kuznetsov gave the team a stay of execution with his goal.


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Ovechkin puts the team on his back

The first period looked like a team waving the white flag on the series. Ovechkin, however, was not ready to go home.

Less than two minutes after Kuznetsov’s goal, Ovechkin tied the game at two on the power play. The goal was vintage Ovechkin as he glided backward into the office and fired the one-timer to beat Varlamov. Ovechkin then broke the tie in the third period as he called his own number on a 2-on-1. With Tom Wilson on the other wing, Devon Toews had to cover the passing lane giving Ovechkin all the room in the world to shoot and he took advantage beating Varlamov with the wrister.

In four games, Washington has scored eight goals. Ovechkin has four of them including all three of the team's 5-on-5 goals.


The penalty kill

Once again, the penalty kill came up huge for Washington. The Caps gave up three power plays in the first period and five for the game, but the team was able to kill off all five. Washington allowed two goals in the first period and had the penalty kill not been able to kill off any of those three opportunities, this game could have gotten ugly.

The one area in which the Caps have dominated this series throughout has been on the penalty kill. Including the five opportunities on Tuesday, Washington has now killed 18 of New York's 19 power plays.