WASHINGTON (AP) — Washington Capitals players already reached their locker room after Dylan Strome scored on the power play in overtime to give them a 3-2 victory over the New York Islanders.
Or did he?
Officials reviewed the play to see if Tom Wilson redirected the puck with a high stick, which would have negated the goal. Veteran defenseman John Carlson didn’t know how far to get undressed, but coaches were confident it was a goal, so he and his teammates went about their way.
They were right, and Strome’s team-leading 13th goal 1:41 into 3-on-3 OT stood up to the video inquiry to give the Capitals a second consecutive victory.
“We’ve gotten a couple wrong this year, so you never really know,” Strome said after his second overtime goal of the season. “Happy it was a goal. I felt pretty confident after I saw the replay. It looked like it was below his shoulder. That’s the rule, so we’ll take it.”
Before overtime, Hendrix Lapierre scored a goal and assisted on Joel Edmundson’s first of the season. The trio of Lapierre, Aliaksei Protas and Anthony Mantha was the Capitals’ best line all game, pinning the Islanders in their own end on numerous shifts and scoring on two of them.
Lapierre, back in the NHL after a stint in the minors, was only centering it because Connor McMichael was a late scratch with an illness.
Alex Ovechkin set up Strome’s goal. Ovechkin’s career-worst goal drought reached 14 games, but his team is still 7-5-2 during this stretch thanks to scoring depth and an infusion of youth.
The Capitals got a big dose of that with the return of Lapierre, 21, and the NHL debut of 19-year-old Ivan Miroshnichenko, their 2022 first-round pick. Miroshnichenko, who was diagnosed with and beat Hodgkin lymphoma last year, took a solo lap at the start of warmups and skated on the third line with Matthew Phillips and fellow Russian Evgeny Kuznetsov.
“We see how hard those guys have been working to try to get NHL ready,” said Darcy Kuemper, who made 30 saves. “They bring a lot of energy and a lot of life and are making a lot of plays for us.”
Edmundson, the defenseman acquired in the offseason for size and depth who was sidelined when he broke his right hand in a training camp scrimmage, is not known for his offense, but he still got a shot through from the point to score for the first time in 28 games dating to March 13.
The Islanders were playing on the second of back-to-back nights and looked like it at times. Backup Semyon Varlamov was solid in stopping 33 of the 36 shots he faced. Hudson Fasching scored early in the second period and captain Anders Lee tied it with eight minutes left in regulation to help New York pick up a point.
“It was a gritty point,” Lee said. “Considering the circumstances, how the game was going, how we were feeling, it wasn’t our best game. But we found a way to end the game 2-2 and give ourselves a chance in overtime. You’re going to have nights where you’ve got to find a way just to tie it up and give yourself a chance at the end.”