National Hockey League
Washington 3, NY Islanders 2
When: 8:00 PM ET, Tuesday, August 18, 2020
Where: Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, Ontario
Referees: Francis Charron, Chris Lee
Linesmen: Shandor Alphonso, Greg Devorski
Attendance: N/A

Alex Ovechkin scored the tying goal in the second period and the go-ahead goal early in the third Tuesday night for the Washington Capitals, who staved off elimination in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals by coming back to beat the New York Islanders 3-2 in Toronto.

With teammate Tom Wilson accompanying him in a three-on-two rush, Ovechkin shuffled the puck and lured Islanders defenseman Devon Toews into leaning toward Wilson. He then completed the comeback by firing a sizzling shot from the faceoff circle that sailed past Islanders goalie Semyon Varlamov 3:40 into the third.

Evgeny Kuznetsov scored the first goal for the Capitals, who fell behind 2-0 fewer than 10 minutes into the first period before storming back. Goalie Braden Holtby made 24 saves as Washington avoided being swept for the first time since the 2011 conference semifinals.

The Capitals will look to extend the series again in Game 5, scheduled for Thursday night.

Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Mathew Barzal scored for the Islanders, who are trying to advance beyond the first round for a second straight season -- something the franchise hasn't done since 1983-84 and 1984-85.

Pageau helped create his goal early in the first by winning a battle for the puck behind the Capitals' net with Nick Jensen. Pageau fired the puck to Scott Mayfield, who skated backwards and eluded Jakub Vrana before firing a shot from just in front of the blue line that ticked off Pageau's stick at 3:50.

Barzal began and ended the sequence that ended with the Islanders doubling their lead with 10:44 left. The center took the puck in the New York zone, raced up the middle of the ice, passed to Nick Leddy and then burst ahead of Carl Hagelin. Leddy passed back to Barzal, who swooped in on Holtby and beat him for his third goal of the series.

Capitals head coach Todd Reirden immediately used his timeout, and Washington responded by outshooting the Islanders 8-6 the rest of the first before beginning to take control in the second.

The Islanders were whistled for three penalties in the first four minutes of the second and withstood a five-on-three sequence before Kuznetsov scored seconds into four-on-four play by tucking a shot between Varlamov's legs at the 3:35 mark. Ovechkin tied the game a mere 1:54 later when his shot from the top of the left faceoff circle bounced off Varlamov's glove.

The teams combined for just 11 shots on net in the third period. Islanders center Brock Nelson had the best chance to tie the game, but Holtby turned him away at the doorstep with 4:47 left. Holtby made two saves once Varlamov was pulled for the extra attacker.

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
Washington   NY Islanders
Alex Ovechkin 2 Points Mathew Barzal 1
Alex Ovechkin 2 Goals Mathew Barzal 1
John Carlson 2 Assists Casey Cizikas 1
Alex Ovechkin 1 Power Play Goals N/A
N/A Short Handed Goals N/A
Braden Holtby .923 Save Percentage Semyon Varlamov .897
Braden Holtby 24 Saves Semyon Varlamov 26
Team Stats Summary
Team Shots Goals Power Play Penalty Kill Penalty Mins Face Offs Won
Washington 29 3 1-5 5-5 14 25
NY Islanders 26 2 0-5 4-5 12 31
Upcoming Games
  • NY Islanders will play their next game on the road against Washington. The Islanders have a W/L % of .583 after a win and .438 after a loss.
  • Washington will play their next game at home against NY Islanders. The Capitals have a W/L % of .571 after a win and .630 after a loss.