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11/30/2013 11:40 PM EST
Capitals sink Islanders 3-2 in OT
WASHINGTON 3, NY ISLANDERS 2 (OT)

By ALLAN KREDA
Associated Press

UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) -- The New York Islanders were close to
ending their five-game losing streak.

But Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals found a win to get
their second win in two days.

Ovechkin's overtime winner came after Nicklas Backstrom tied the
game with a short-handed score with 49 seconds left in the third
period to lift the Capitals to a 3-2 victory over the Islanders
on Saturday.

Ovechkin's 21st goal at 2:07 of overtime gave Washington the
victory and improved its record to 14-11-2. The Capitals also
had a strong game from goaltender Braden Holtby, who made 37
saves.

"We were lucky at the end and then we got it done in overtime,"
Washington coach Adam Oates said. "At the end of the day, you
want to do the right things out there and we did."

The Islanders seemed poised for their first win since Nov. 16
after Thomas Vanek gave them a 2-1 lead with just under two
minutes left.

Vanek scored his eighth of the season when he flipped the puck
past Holtby from in close at 18:09 as linemates John Tavares and
Kyle Okposo assisted.

The one-goal lead appeared safe but it wasn't to be as Capitals
defenseman Mike Green took an interference penalty at 18:50.

The ensuing play went into the Islanders end where Backstrom
took a pass from Jason Chimera, then managed to slide the puck
past Islanders goaltender Anders Nilsson for his sixth of the
season to knot the score at 2.

"It was a great pass by Chimmer that landed on my tape,"
Backstrom said. "It really felt great for me because it was a
tight game between two good teams. It was felt good that we came
back, a great win for us."

Nilsson was making his first start for the Islanders this season
after Kevin Poulin had lost the previous five games.

Starter Evgeni Nabokov was injured early in the Nov. 16th game
against Detroit. The Islanders won that game in a shootout with
Poulin in relief but they haven't won since.

Aaron Volpatti's score at 8:58 of the middle period put
Washington ahead 1-0. Tom Wilson and Martin Erat assisted on his
second goal of the season.

The Islanders dictated much of the pace against the Capitals.
They outshot Washington 15-9 in the first period and 12-10 in
the second, a day after a 5-0 home loss to Detroit.

Cal Clutterbuck's short-handed breakaway goal at 3:59 of the
third woke up the crowd at Nassau Coliseum.

Clutterbuck broke in alone on Holtby and beat the goaltender to
the glove side for his third of the season. Both goaltenders
continued their sharp play until Vanek's goal broke the tie.

The Islanders have been on a spiral since beating Boston at home
on Nov. 2 to improve to 6-5-3. They are 2-10-1 since and 4-11-1
since they traded Tavares' left wing Matt Moulson and two draft
picks to Buffalo for Vanek on Oct. 27.

Islanders coach Jack Capuano remained upbeat following the loss.

"Guys worked hard tonight. I thought they were focused and this
was a step in the right direction," he said. "It came down to
special teams. It's just very frustrating that it had to end
this way."

The Islanders and Capitals play close games, as 17 of the past
25 games between them have been decided by one goal. Washington
is 13-1-3 in those games.

The Caps are 17-5-3 against the Islanders since the start of the
2007-08 season, including their 6-2 over New York on Nov. 5 at
Verizon Center.

The Islanders next host Pittsburgh on Tuesday before a five-game
trip against top Western Conference teams St. Louis, Los
Angeles, Anaheim, San Jose and Phoenix.

For a club that reached the playoffs last season for the first
time since 2007, the season is at an early crossroads.

"We have to believe in one another and stick with it," Capuano
said.

Calvin de Haan made his season debut for the Islanders. The
22-year-old defenseman was recalled from AHL Bridgeport on
Thanksgiving. A first round pick - 12th overall - in 2009, he
previously had played only one game for the Islanders in
December 2011.

Notes: The Capitals recalled goaltender Philipp Grubauer from
AHL Hershey to replace backup Michal Neuvirth, who stepped on
puck during warmup on Friday and missed his scheduled start. ...
Washington also recalled defenseman Dmitry Orlov from Hershey,
sending down center Michael Latta. ... The Capitals were without
defensemen John Erskine (knee) and Jack Hillen (fractured
tibia). ... The Islanders continued to be without defensemen
Lubomir Visnovsky (concussion) and Brian Strait (upper body).

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