Down 4-1 in the second intermission, the Capitals decided to “just leave it all out there” during the third period with their bye week beckoning. The Capitals scored five unanswered goals to take the game 6-4.
After the game, former Capitals head coach Barry Trotz spoke about the Islanders’ meltdown and praised Alex Ovechkin for his individual performance. Ovechkin tallied his 26th career hat trick, scoring two of his goals during the Caps’ ferocious third-period comeback.
"I thought our performance was good. At the end of the day we took an unnecessary cross-checking penalty. I felt like we deserved at least one point." – Barry Trotz pic.twitter.com/0qjQGqwzv3
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) January 17, 2020
“After the second talk we talked about how that team has championship pedigree,” Trotz said. “They’ve come back in a number of games this year. They’ve come back from 2 goals with a minute to go. You can’t take your foot off the pedal. We had to make hard plays. We didn’t do that. There’s a level that you have to raise when the game is on the line and we didn’t raise it. Look at the goals, guys that are a little smaller getting to the net. Guys turning pucks over. Veteran guys turning pucks over. You have to make hard plays because they’re going to come, they’re going to be aggressive. We were making soft plays. Those soft plays are little sauce pass, whatever. When you’re a few feet from the blue line or the red line, or there’s a puck battle in the corner, you have to win it. We didn’t win enough of them.
“Their superstar in Ovechkin raised his level to the greatness that he has and he had a hat trick tonight,” Trotz added. “Some of it is on us. Most of it is on us. It’s a good hard lesson.”
The Islanders won’t have to wait long to forget one of their worst performances of the year.
“The great thing about this game is let’s see what we can do tomorrow,” Trotz said. “That’s the best way to get a bad taste out of your mouth is get a win tomorrow. ”
Next game tomorrow in Raleigh. pic.twitter.com/yRAFZgkwPQ
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) January 18, 2020
Headline photo: @NYIslanders
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