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RECAP: Justin Schultz’s late goal lifts Capitals past Islanders

Jan 26, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) skates with the puck as Washington Capitals left wing Daniel Carr (28 0 defends in the second period at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Schultz scored with 26.4 seconds left as the Capitals rallied for a 3-2 victory over the New York Islanders on Tuesday night in Washington.

Schultz took a pass from Garnet Hathaway and fired a shot that beat New York goalie Semyon Varlamov on the far side. For Schultz, he finished with a goal and an assist.

The visiting team had won eight in a row in this series. Varlamov, a former Capital, had a 3-0 record and an 0.33 goals-against average coming into this game.

Washington’s lineup problems continued Tuesday with the same five players who missed Sunday’s loss against Buffalo sitting again. Alex Ovechkin, Dmitry Orlov, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Ilya Samsonov were again on the COVID-19 protocol list. Tom Wilson is out with a lower-body injury.

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The Caps also lost two more players during the third period. Lars Eller got crunched by Leo Komarov and had to be helped off the ice. Komarov drew a five-minute boarding penalty, but Washington didn’t score and the game remained tied at 2-2. Nicklas Backstrom also left late in that period and didn’t return.

The Caps now have notched points in their first seven games (4-0-3), the second time in club history they’ve started a season that way. Rookie Vitek Vanecek finished with 32 saves in another strong performance.

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John Carlson scored the game’s first goal, which came on the power play, on a rebound off a Schultz blast from the right side with 8:54 remaining in the first period.

New York pulled even on Noah Dobson’s goal with 4:27 left in the opening period.

Midway through the second period, Mathew Barzal, who also assisted on the Dobson goal, made a quick move in front scored on a backhand past Vanecek for New York’s first lead.

But Washington, wearing its new alternate blue jerseys for the first time, tied it when Daniel Sprong fired on a quick wrist shot in traffic past Varlamov (34 saves) with 2:39 left in the second period. That remained the score until Schultz struck late.

Related: If you’re a fan of the Capitals, check out #ALLCAPS rumors, rankings, and news here.

–Field Level Media