It may be another year for the Islanders with a sweep in Round 1, including a game-winner in overtime.
The Islanders suddenly find themselves with a 3-0 lead in the first-round series over the Washington Capitals after Mathew Barzal got his second goal of the postseason after over 4 minutes of the first overtime past by. Before that goal, the game between the Islanders and Capitals was hard-fought with each team getting a goal in the first two periods.
Almost 15 minutes into the game, the Islanders got on the board first after Andres Lee found himself in front of the net, calling for the puck by banging on the ice and slipping the puck in the net behind Braden Holtby, taking a 1-0 lead into the second period. After Jordan Eberle committed a penalty for slashing against T.J. Oshie, Evgeny Kuznetsov takes advantage of the man-up opportunity by delivering the only goal of the day for the Capitals almost 6 minutes into the 2nd period, tying the game at 1.
In the third period, no goals were scored by either team with each team having a power play but unable to take advantage of the opportunity, as Game 3 was settled in overtime for the first time in this series. 4 minutes into the first overtime, Jakub Vrana found himself on a breakaway with a chance to score the game-winning goal, but on the two shots he had, Islanders goaltender Semyon Varlamov saved both of Vrana’s shots, allowing the game to continue, then 30 seconds after that, Barzal delivered the game-winning goal on the assist from Jordan Eberle and Derek Brassard.
Semyon Varlamov put up another brilliant goaltending performance by saving 22 of the 23 shots that came his way, missing only one shot in the Capitals’ first power-play of the game, giving the Islanders a 6-1 record in the postseason overall after helping the Islanders defeat the Florida Panthers in the Qualifying Round by taking a 3-1 series win.
By taking a 3-0 series lead, the Islanders are one win away from advancing to the Second Round for the 2nd year in a row with their opponent still to be determined as every other team in the Eastern Conference has accomplished a win against their respective opponent in the first round. Game 4 is scheduled for Tuesday night at the Scotiabank Arena at 8 pm.