Washington, DC (SportsNetwork.com) - Alexander Ovechkin scored the go-ahead goal to propel the Washington Capitals to a 5-2 victory over the New York Islanders in the finale of a home-and-home set at Verizon Center.
Matt Niskanen tallied a goal and two assists, Evgeny Kuznetsov supplied a goal and a helper and Marcus Johansson and Joel Ward each scored for Washington, which bounced back from a 3-2 overtime loss to the Islanders on Wednesday at Nassau Coliseum.
"It's a big one for us, said Johansson. "We have to get as many wins as we can and if we go in and play like we did today, especially the last half of the game, we're going to give ourselves a really good chance to win."
Braden Holtby turned aside 26 shots in the win.
John Tavares and Anders Lee each lit the lamp for the Islanders, who had their five-game win streak come to an end. Chad Johnson allowed four goals on 26 shots.
"We didn't handle the puck the way we wanted to," Lee said. "They took advantage of some opportunities and tonight our sloppy play cost us."
Ovechkin gave the Capitals a 3-2 lead midway through the second period after he received a lead pass from Tom Wilson at the right circle and fired a well- placed shot past Johnson.
Kuznetsov took a loose puck in the corner and drifted across the right circle before unleashing a wrister into the back of the net to add an insurance marker for Washington 5:56 into the final stanza.
Ward sealed the win with an empty-net goal with 1:28 remaining.
Washington opened the scoring on the power play after Niskanen blasted a shot from the right point past a screened Johnson at 11:51 of the first.
Johansson snapped a shot over the blocker of Johnson from the top of the left circle with 1:33 to play in the opening stanza, but the Islanders netted two goals in a span of 35 seconds to make it a 2-2 game heading into the second.
Nick Leddy fired a shot from the left point, but Holtby failed to control the rebound as Tavares was there to wrist it home from the right side of the net at 18:58
Lee cut through the slot and redirected Travis Hamonic's shot into the top of the net to tie the game with 27 seconds left in the period.
Jack Capuano coached his 300th game with the Islanders ... Capitals forward Brooks Laich returned to the lineup after missing 15 of the last 16 games with a left shoulder injury ... Holtby won his 68th game for the Capitals, passing Pat Riggin for sixth place on the franchise wins list ... Holtby improved to 6-1-1 in his career against the Islanders ... The Capitals are 9-1-1 this season when scoring first.