The Islanders’ offensive erupts in victory over the playoff-tied Capitals

Brock Nelson and Anders Lee scored first-half goals, Mathew Barzal had three assists and Semyon Varlamov made 26 saves as the New York Islanders beat the Washington Capitals 5-1 in the playoffs Thursday night.

JG Pageau, Kyle Palmieri and Josh Bailey added goals in the third period for the Islanders, who beat a home-and-home series this week with the playoff-tied Capitals improving to 20-15-5 at home.

The Islanders are 16-10-2 in their last 28 games but will end a disappointing season without a postseason berth on Friday at home to Tampa Bay, the defending Stanley Cup champions who defeated them in the semifinals last June .

Nelson opened the scoring with his team-leading 37th goal at 10:48 of the first period on the power play. Mathew Barzal and Noah Dobson assisted.

Lee made it 2-0 at 15:34 and tapped the puck past Washington goaltender Vitek Vanecek for his 28th goal. Barzal and Dobson each assisted again.

The Islanders hit past Capitals goalie Vitek Vanecek in the third half.
The Islanders hit past Capitals goalie Vitek Vanecek in the third half.
Corey Sipkin for the NY POST

The goal was the 212th of Lee’s career and moved ahead of Derek King to tenth in Islander history. Lee also played his 595th game with the franchise, passing John Tonelli who has 206 career goals. Lee, Tonelli and King have all worn the number 27 for the islanders.

Dobson leads the defense with 37 assists and 50 points overall.

Pageau scored his 17th with a breakaway at 3:44 of the third just after the Islanders ended a four-minute power play for Washington when Adam Pelech received two minor penalties for cross-checking in the same game.

Palmieri made it 4-0 with his 15th goal at 6:23. Josh Bailey and Robin Salo assisted.

The Islanders celebrate their victory over the Capitals.
The Islanders celebrate their victory over the Capitals.
Corey Sipkin for the NY POST

Bailey added his 13th at 1:37 with another assist for Barzal, who has the top team at 43 assists.

Varlamov’s shutout was ruined by a goal from Axel Jonsson-Fjallby with 41.4 seconds left.

Vanecek made 21 saves in the loss for the Capitals.

The Islanders earned a 4-1 win in Washington on Tuesday when Ryan Pulock and Dobson each scored power-play goals as New York went on a five-game winning streak. This win ended the Islanders’ road season 17-19-5.

The Islanders miss the playoffs for the first time since 2017-18. Having reached the Eastern Conference Finals twice in a row, the current season has been a flop almost from the start.

After a 13-game road trip earlier in the season, they went 0-5-2 in their first seven games at the new UBS Arena starting in late November.

They then had to miss several players with COVID-19 on many nights in November and December. They will have played 33 games in the final two months of the season and will be catching up on postponed games on a compressed schedule.

Washington stayed a point behind Pittsburgh in third place in the Metropolitan Division, with each team still having a game on Friday. The Islanders’ offensive erupts in victory over the playoff-tied Capitals


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