Evgeny Kuznetsov Advances The Washington Capitals Past The New York Islanders

One thing that was evident going into game 7 back in the District of Columbia, and that was that the New York Islanders and Washington Capitals just didn't like each other. They had been fighting each other a lot back and forth in the series and had been alternating the last few games as the series was finally sent to a deciding game where one team had to win, and the other team had to go home.

But the Capitals defense was simply on fire in this one, as Braden Holtby only had 11 shots on goal in the entire game, which is the same amount Washington had on goal in the opening period. Jaroslav Halak had his work cut out for him as he needed more help from his offense. He saved 24 shots during the game for a 92% save percentage. But it simply would not be enough. Joel Ward was able to score the first goal of the game in the second period to finally opening up some scoring and to excite the home crowd. He was helped with assists by both Brooks Orpik and Alex Ovechkin. They would go into the final period with a 1-0 advantage as they wanted to advance to face the Rangers in the final round.

The Islanders would get a goal past Holtby though in the final period, when Frans Nielsen scored just 3:13 into the final period to tie the game. He was assisted by both Thomas Hickey and Ryan Strome to give the Islanders a little bit of life. Evgeny Kuznetsov would score though for the Capitals with 7:18 left in the period for what would end up being the game winning goal. It was Kuznetsov's third goal of the series and this one was assisted by Jason Chimera and John Carlson. It would be pretty easy to argue that Kuznetsov was the best player in the series for the Capitals as he scored 2 critical goals in game 5 and then the game winner in game 7.

The Washington Capitals will not have home ice in the next series though and if a game 7 is going to be played it will be up in Madison Square Garden. The flights should be pretty similar though since flying to JFK would get the Capitals close to either Uniondale or New York City.