The Islanders’ days of playing at Nassau Coliseum are over. Their often-times magical 2014-15 season? Done too.
The Capitals made sure it wouldn’t be an all-New York spring Monday night as they advanced to the Eastern semi-finals to play the Rangers, courtesy of a 2-1 Game 7 win.
Given the small amount of shots the Isles got on net in D.C. Monday, it was miraculous that the scoreboard margin was so slim. New York only got 11 shots on net while the Caps kept firing away at Jaroslav Halak. Halak turned away 24 shots, but a second period goal by Joel Ward and a third period strike by Evgeny Kuznetsov allowed the Capitals to prevail.
Ward’s goal came via a second chance opportunity as he shoveled the puck through the legs of Halak after being parked in front of the net on a Brooks Orpik attempt.
Kuznetsov registered the killer, striking at 12:42 of the third when he held onto the puck for, seemingly, an eternity as Halak sprawled across the ice in front of the net. Kuznetsov saw the opening and popped it in, giving the Caps the 2-1 lead they would skate away with.
The Islanders scored their lone goal at the 3:13 mark of the third when Frans Nielsen squirted a wobbly one by a rusty Holtby. Nielsen’s goal tied the game at 1, but the Caps just kept putting pressure on Halak.
Washington looked like the stronger team throughout, with the Capitals winning 10-of-16 faceoffs in the first period. They also got off nine shots on net in the first compared to just three for New York. John Tavares did not get a shot on Holtby all night.