Washington, DC (SportsNetwork.com) - Alex Ovechkin returned from a two-game absence to deliver two goals and an assist and lead the Washington Capitals to a 6-2 drubbing of the New York Islanders at Verizon Center.
Washington used a five-goal second period and four power-play markers to register its third consecutive victory. Marcus Johansson and Tom Wilson both netted a goal and an assist in the rout, with John Carlson and Alexander Urbom also scoring for the Capitals.
"Our power play clicks almost all of the time," Capitals head coach Adam Oates remarked. "We talk about it all the time, [that] we stop ourselves. We should be in a position that we should feel that on a given night we stop ourselves, they don't stop us."
Nicklas Backstrom assisted on three of Washington's power-play tallies, while Braden Holtby made 34 saves to help make Ovechkin's comeback from an upper- body injury a successful one.
John Tavares and Kyle Okposo both had a goal and an assist for the Islanders, who had won two in a row entering the opener of a four-game road trip. Evgeni Nabokov allowed all six Washington goals on 39 shots.
Nabokov stopped all 11 chances he faced during the first period as the Islanders took a 1-0 edge into the intermission, but was blitzed for four goals in a span of just over five minutes in the second as Washington surged ahead.
Carlson began the barrage 3:06 into the frame, with the Washington defenseman intercepting an errant pass and blasting a shot past Nabokov from the right circle.
A tripping penalty by the Islanders' Cal Clutterbuck shortly afterward enabled the Caps to move in front. Backstrom won the ensuing faceoff and worked the puck back to Ovechkin, who sent a scorcher through Nabokov's pads just three seconds following the infraction.
"I felt pretty refreshed out there," said Ovechkin. "Of course I had a few days off, had a couple of breaks, but I feel pretty good."
New York answered quickly, however. Okposo cradled a Tavares pass and beat a screened Holtby to the glove side for the equalizer, which came a mere 17 seconds after Ovechkin's goal.
The 2-2 tie lasted less than 2 1/2 minutes, though, as another Islanders penalty resulted in Johansson poking in a puck that bounced off teammate Troy Brouwer on an odd-man rush with 6:50 elapsed in the middle session.
Urbom's first of the season, a successful slap shot after Wilson fed the big defenseman while falling down near the crease, extended Washington's margin to 4-2 at the 8:10 mark, and the Capitals struck once more on the power play to make it a three-goal game before the close of the second period.
Ovechkin raced in to the left of the net to one-time a crisp pass from Johansson with 2:42 to go in the stanza and New York's Thomas Vanek in the box for interference.
"I thought we played pretty good up until all of a sudden, bang-bang on that power play, and we never recovered from that," said Islanders head coach Jack Capuano.
Holtby thwarted any idea of an Islanders' comeback with a 15-save third period, and Wilson put the finishing touches on the lopsided win with his first career NHL goal. With the Caps again on a 5-on-4 advantage, the rookie tipped home an Ovechkin shot from the left circle with 4:01 left.
Tavares recorded the lone goal of the first period, with the New York captain ripping a give from Frans Nielsen into an open right side immediately after the expiration of an Islanders' power play.
Tavares has now scored in three straight games and has eight goals and two assists in his last eight encounters with Washington ... Wilson's assist on Urbom's score was his first NHL point ... The Islanders went 0-for-5 on the power play and have failed to score with the man advantage in five consecutive games, having gone 0-for-18 over that span ... Nielsen owns an eight-game point streak against the Caps in which he's posted 12 points (two goals, 10 assists) ... Backstrom (135) passed Sergei Gonchar for sixth-place on Washington's career list for power-play assists.