The Islanders dropped Game 5 in humiliating fashion, losing 5-1 to the Capitals in Washington Thursday night. The Isles now trail in the series, 3-2.
There was chippiness on both sides early on and the teams got into several post-whistle skirmishes in front of the Islander net. Emotions bubbled over at 5:22 when Anders Lee of the Islanders challenged Tom Wilson of the Capitals to a fight. Wilson was responsible for knocking Lubomir Visnovsky out of the Game 4, and Visnovsky did not suit up for Game 5. Both men landed some good shots, with Lee dragging Wilson down to the ice.
Less than a minute later, the Isles drew first blood on the scoreboard when Josh Bailey slapped one past Caps netminder Braden Holtby at 5:48. The play was set up by John Tavares, who forced a turnover in the corner and made a tape-to-tape pass to his teammate.
The Capitals struck back later in the first stanza. At 9:05, Evgeny Kuznetsov scored his first of the playoffs off a rebound left by Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak. The Isles couldn’t clear the front of the net and allowed the Caps to get off three successive shots that eventually overpowered Halak.
There was end-to-end action at the beginning of the second period but only the Capitals were rewarded; Karl Alzner found the back of the net to put the Caps up 2-1. From there, the Isles seemed to run out of gas.
The Caps went into the third up 2-1 and poured it on with three straight goals. Brooks Laich scored from the slot at 2:42; he found the puck there due to some shoddy puck-handling by Halak. Then at 6:19, Kuznetsov bagged his second of the night, slipping in past the Islanders defense as they made a line change and made a nifty move to beat Halak through the five-hole. At 9:00 Jason Chimera scored after Halak let one go through him, and at that point Islanders coach Jack Capuano made the call to lift Halak from the game in favor of Michal Neuvirth.
Cal Clutterbuck took out his frustrations toward the end of the game, taking a slashing penalty which drew a 10-minute misconduct. His night was over as there were less than nine minutes to go at that point.
Game 5 is scheduled for Saturday with a time to be determined.