Sports

Kuznetsov scores tiebreaking goal in 3rd period to lead Capitals past Islanders 2-1 in Game 7

  • Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov (92), from Russia, works the puck with New York Islanders left wing Josh Bailey (12) defending, during the first period of Game 7 in the first round of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs, Monday, April 27, 2015, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov (92), from Russia, works the puck with New York Islanders left wing Josh Bailey (12) defending, during the first period of Game 7 in the first round of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs, Monday, April 27, 2015, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)  (The Associated Press)

  • New York Islanders defenseman Brian Strait (37) and right wing Cal Clutterbuck (15) scuffle with Washington Capitals right wing Tom Wilson (43) during the first period of Game 7 in the first round of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs, Monday, April 27, 2015, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    New York Islanders defenseman Brian Strait (37) and right wing Cal Clutterbuck (15) scuffle with Washington Capitals right wing Tom Wilson (43) during the first period of Game 7 in the first round of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs, Monday, April 27, 2015, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)  (The Associated Press)

  • Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby (70) blocks a shot by New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) during the second period of Game 7 in the first round of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs, Monday, April 27, 2015, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby (70) blocks a shot by New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) during the second period of Game 7 in the first round of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs, Monday, April 27, 2015, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)  (The Associated Press)

Skating around every opponent on the ice, rookie Evgeny Kuznetsov scored the go-ahead goal with less than 7 1/2 minutes left in Game 7, and Braden Holtby only needed to make 10 saves Monday night, lifting the Washington Capitals past the New York Islanders 2-1 in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Kuznetsov scored the sort of athletic, breathtaking goal his better-known Russian teammate, Alex Ovechkin, often does, taking the puck from the right boards and heading across the ice before sending a rising shot over sprawling goalie Jaroslav Halak.

Joel Ward gave Washington a 1-0 lead late in the second period, and Frans Nielsen pulled New York even early in the third.

The Capitals next face the New York Rangers.