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Washington Capitals

Capitals’ Offense Sputters, Islanders Claim Shutout Win



Washington Capitals right wing T.J. Oshie, left, looks to pass the puck around New York Islanders center Bo Horvat (14) in the first period of an NHL hockey game, Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023, in Washington. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Twenty-two seconds.

That’s how long it took for the Washington Capitals to find themselves in a hole after surrendering a goal to New York Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock. And the hits didn’t stop there, with the Capitals finding themselves on the wrong end of a 3-0 score by night’s end.

It was an uncharacteristic performance for the Capitals, who entered the day riding a three-game win streak. But all good things come to an end eventually, and the Capitals went home Thursday with their first loss since Oct. 24.

The Capitals struggled to keep up with the surging Islanders, who went ahead 2-0 after winger Simon Holmstrom added to the team’s lead midway through the first period.

All the while, the Capitals failed to capitalize on two first-period power play chances or a multitude of scoring opportunities in front of Islanders goalie Semyon Varlamov. They entered the first intermission with eight shots on goal compared to the Islanders’ two, with the only downside being that New York scored on both of those shots.

The Capitals were able to gain back some momentum after Darcy Kuemper tallied his first save of the game five minutes into the second period, but even that was short lived. 

The Islanders’ lead only grew, with Brock Nelson beating Kuemper in the second period on the team’s fifth shot on goal of the game.

A glimmer of hope came the Capitals way in the third period, when a shot deflect off of TJ Oshie and past Varlamov, but it was quickly ripped away after Oshie was called for goaltender interference. That was the last true fight the Capitals put up, with the Islanders eventually rolling to victory.


Two Capitals served a stint in the penalty box: Anthony Mantha, for holding; and Rasmus Sandin, for tripping.


The Capitals host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday at Capital One Arena. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Jared Serre covers the Washington Capitals for Washington Hockey Now. He is a graduate of West Virginia University.