The Isles are playing a great series in Toronto so far due to a constant forecheck in which they constantly put pressure on the opposing netminder. The red-hot second line exemplifies the Islanders’ outstanding play with constant production in the bubble. Anthony Beauvillier is playing exceptionally for this line with points in his last six games in Toronto.
Islanders Quickly Respond to Ovechkin’s 1st Goal
The Islanders trailed from the start since Alex Ovechkin helped his team get the lead in under a minute. Halfway through period one things did not look great for the Islanders who played the majority of the game in the defensive zone. The Islanders responded quickly by picking up their play as the game went along due to an improved forecheck. They turned things around this period and outplayed their opponents for the rest of the game. A key reason that the Islanders did a much better job in this game was staying out of the penalty box. Washington is a team that relies on having a decent amount of powerplays and only had 2 chances and had to fight off 5 penalty kills.
The Islanders Find their Groove in the Second
The Isles had an offensive explosion in the second in which they scored three. In this period, Nick Leddy, Matt Martin, and Brock Nelson came through to give the Islanders a 3-2 lead. The only flaw in this period was a deflection that allowed the Capitals to tie the game before Brock Nelson‘s goal. The goals were the result of a good forecheck where they created space and drew penalties. The Capitals had trouble in this game solely because they struggled to get the puck out of their defensive zone and the Isles generated multiple turnovers in the neutral zone.
The Islanders Hold on in the Third
The Isles defense was key in the final period where they kept the puck out of their net allowing the team to get their second win of the series. The Islanders offense was still a presence in the third with a solid forecheck towards the end of the game leading to another goal. As the Capitals last hope they pulled the goalie resulting in a 5th Isles goal.
Takeaways from Game 2
The Islanders are enforcing their style of play on Washington resulting in their success. If they continue to forecheck this well, the Isles become a threat to any team that they face. Also, Varlamov has been solid in net making things easier on the Islanders’ stacked defense. Washington’s center depth will be tested with injuries to both Lars Ellers and Nicklas Backstrom. The Capitals face tough odds of making a comeback in the series with a 2-0 deficit. The second line for the Islanders has been a key factor in their success. The Islanders are playing very well right now which gives the team potential to make it far in the playoffs.