Jaroslave Halak saved 31 of 32 shots and three different players scored goals for the Islanders in a 3-1 win over the Capitals on Monday night. << Box score
- 2:36 NYI Brock Nelson; Assists: Cal Clutterbuck, Jason Chimera
- 0:36 NYI Andrew Ladd; Assists: Calvin de Haan, Jordan Eberle
- 1:34 NYI John Tavares; Assists: Josh Bailey, Anders Lee
- 8:23 WAS Dmitry Orlov; Assists: Chandler Stephenson, Jay Beagle
After a rough stretch on the road last week, the Islanders got exactly what they needed this evening: A crisp regulation win over a division rival.
Brock Nelson's goal opened the scoring, and the Isles really controlled the play through most of the contest after that. Andrew Ladd cashed in a pretty feed from Calvin de Haan in the opening minute of the second period, and John Tavares followed shortly thereafter by finishing a pretty feed from Josh Bailey to give them plenty of breathing room.
It was clear the coaching staff has spent a lot of practice time on two areas the Isles have struggled with this season: getting offense from their defense and the penalty kill. De Haan's set up of Ladd was just one of the many times the defense jumped up in the play, and New York killed off both of Washington's power plays, which ranked 8th in the league coming into the game. The PKers were aggressive and didn't give the Capitals much breathing room to make something happen. And when they did, Jaro Halak was equal to the task.
Finally, Halak had a very solid outing, and it was great to see the Isles netminder reward Doug Wright for the confidence he expressed in him prior to the game. Jaro has given up too many soft goals this season, but overall, he's been the better goaltender of the Isles' two by far. Let's hope this gets him on a little bit of an extended roll.
The Islanders will host the Stars on Wednesday at 7 p.m.