NHL Game Summary - Washington at NY Islanders
(Tuesday, March 23rd)
Final Score: NY Islanders 3, Washington 0
Uniondale, NY (Sports Network) - Rick DiPietro made 17 saves and the Islanders received goals from three different players as New York blanked the Washington Capitals, 3-0, at Nassau Coliseum.
Roman Hamrlik, Adrian Aucoin and Alexei Yashin scored for the Isles, who won their third straight game and increased their lead over ninth-place Buffalo to eight points for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with just six games remaining.
It was the second straight shutout for DiPietro, who made 29 saves in keeping Tampa Bay off the board on Sunday.
Olaf Kolzig allowed three goals on 19 shots in two periods before giving way to Matthew Yeats, who stopped all 14 shots he faced. The Caps saw their brief two-game unbeaten streak come to an end (1-0-1).
Hamrlik opened the scoring with 4:41 to play in the first period. He intercepted a pass in the neutral zone and raced ahead before dishing the puck off to Yashin at his right. Yashin gave it back and Hamrlik slammed it by Kolzig for his fourth tally of the season.
"I'm surprised I hit the net," said Hamrlik, who ended an 11-game scoring drought. "Usually it goes over the net or hits the glass."
Washington had a great chance to even the score midway through the second stanza, but failed to capitalize on a two-man advantage that lasted almost a minute. Kip Miller was robbed in close by a scrambling DiPietro on the power play.
"It surprised me, I thought it was in," Miller said. "He was on his back. I hit it pretty good, but he came up with one of his better saves."
"I was flopping around there and fortunately for me, I got a glove on it," said DiPietro. "It gave us a lot of momentum. We were up 1-0 at that point. We killed that penalty and I think we dominated from then on."
The Isles made it 2-0 just 39 seconds after the power play ended. Aucoin kept a clearing attempt in at the blue line before firing a slap shot through traffic for his seventh of the year at the 13:34 mark.
Yashin handed New York a 3-0 margin as he reaped the benefits of a lucky bounce. Yashin, stickhandling at the lower right circle, simply threw the puck toward the slot and it ricocheted off a defender's skate to catch Kolzig by surprise. The goal was Yashin's first in eight games since returning from a right wrist laceration.
"It's better to be lucky than good," Yashin said. "I just tried to put the puck on the net and fortunately this one went in today. "Good things happen when you put the puck on net and there is a lot of traffic."
DiPietro was barely tested the rest of the way, making four saves in the third frame en route to his fifth shutout of the campaign.
Yashin missed 35 games after tendons in his wrist were partially severed by the skate of Philadelphia's Michal Handzus on December 23...New York earned a split in the season series with the Caps (2-2-0) and also swept a three-game homestand.
03/23 23:30:24 ET