NHL Game Summary - NY Islanders at Washington
(Sunday, December 21st)
Final Score: NY Islanders 5, Washington 4
Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Alexei Yashin and Mariusz Czerkawski scored in the third period to lead the New York Islanders to a 5-4 win over the Washington Capitals at the MCI Center.
The Islanders finally ended the Capitals' recent domination of the series as they won for just the second time in their last 30 games against Washington (2-25-3). Kenny Jonsson, Mark Parrish and Justin Papineau also scored for the Islanders, who overcame a two-goal second-period deficit to win for the first time in 16 trips to the nation's capital (1-13-2).
Robert Lang scored twice as Washington had its six-game winning streak against the Islanders come to an end. The Capitals won the two previous matchups this season by the scores of 6-1 and 4-1.
Olaf Kolzig stopped 39 shots in the losing effort.
Yashin gave the Islanders the lead at 4-3 just 1:09 into the final period. His wrister from the high slot went off Kolzig's glove and into the net for his seventh goal in nine games.
Czerkawski then scored a valuable insurance goal later in the period to make it a two-goal lead. As he was backpedaling in the slot, he wristed a laser into the upper left-hand corner of the net with 6:10 to play.
That tally proved especially important when Lang got credit for a goal after the puck played pinball with several players in front of the net with 1:15 to play in the contest. The Capitals tried desperately to even the score in the final seconds, but Garth Snow denied a flurry of shots to preserve the victory.
Snow came in to replace an ineffective Rick DiPietro in the second period and stopped 12 of the 13 shots he faced.
New York trailed 3-1 before scoring four unanswered goals to take control of the contest. Parrish scored the first of two power-play goals late in the second period when he pulled the Islanders within one after he tipped in a pass from Shawn Bates with 2:23 left in the stanza.
Jonsson scored with only 31 seconds to play in the period when he skated in and ripped a slap shot from the right circle off the inside of the right post and into the net.
The Islanders were able to get on the board first when Papineau scored just over three minutes into the contest to notch his first tally of the season and fourth of his career.
Washington then tied it up on a fluke goal with the man advantage. Lang had the puck to the left of the New York net and attempted to send a pass to a teammate in front. The disc, though, deflected off the skates of an Islander defender and caromed into the net to even the score with 5:30 remaining in the first period.
The Capitals scored twice in a span of 1:54 early in the second period to claim a two-goal lead.
Brian Willsie scored unassisted at the 4:48 mark of the middle period when he stole the puck from Dave Scatchard at the blue line and navigated his way toward the net with several nifty moves. His backhand shot from the slot eventually found its way through DiPietro to give Washington the lead at 2-1.
Kip Miller then scored on the power play after DiPietro took an interference penalty. Unhappy with his young goaltender, Islander coach Steve Stirling lifted DiPietro from the contest in favor of Snow. DiPietro stopped just nine of 12 shots before being pulled.
Czerkawski had not scored in his last 14 games...Bates and Adrian Aucoin each finished with two assists...New York snapped a two-game losing streak...Peter Bondra assisted on three goals for the Capitals in the loss...Sergei Gonchar also contributed two assists for Washington...The Caps fell to 4-8-1-1 at home this season...Washington fell to 2-2-2 under new head coach Glen Hanlon.
12/21 20:57:10 ET