WASHINGTON – Alex Ovechkin scored at 1:35 of overtime after Troy Brouwer tallied twice in the final 3 1-2 minutes of regulation, giving the Washington Capitals an improbable 3-2 win over the New York Islanders on Tuesday night.
Blanked by New York goalie Evgeni Nabokov for 56 minutes, the Capitals mounted a stunning rally to win their third straight — their longest streak since an identical run in mid-January.
Brouwer cut the deficit to 2-1 with 3:29 left in regulation, scoring from the right of the net after taking an excellent crossing pass from Mathieu Perreault.
Then, after Capitals coach Dale Hunter pulled goalie Michal Neuvirth, Brouwer deflected a shot by Brooks Laich past Nabokov to tie it with 25.5 seconds to play.
In overtime, Ovechkin entered the New York zone from the left side and fired a wrist shot from the top of the left circle that found the back of the net.
It was the fourth straight road loss for the Islanders, who were 13-1-5 when leading after two periods. Nabokov fell to 10-2 against the Capitals, who opened a five-game homestand in impressive style.
Washington was 0-3 against the Islanders, the only Eastern Conference team it had failed to defeat this season. The Capitals moved past Winnipeg into the eighth spot in the East.
Washington outshot New York 13-3 in the first period, but the Islanders took a 1-0 lead on Josh Bailey's seventh goal of the season. Bailey faked a shot from the top of the right circle, then skated down the middle and deked Neuvirth before pumping in a wrister from the slot at 4:14.
It was the Islanders' second shot of the game; the next didn't come until 18:22. Washington managed only two shots during two power-play opportunities over the first 20 minutes.
The second period wasn't much different in that the Capitals still couldn't find a way to score. After New York took the first five shots of the period, Washington's Mike Green finally tested Nabokov with a long-range wrist shot at 9:03 during what turned out to be another futile power play.
Matt Moulson made it 2-0 at 2:16 of the third period, deflecting a shot by Steve Staios over Neuvirth's left shoulder.
NOTES: Islanders C Frans Nielsen played in his 300th NHL game, all with New York. ... Neuvirth improved to 4-0 against the Islanders. ... Moulson has 27 goals but only four in February.