Another goal from Mike Green helped the Caps continue their surge. (AP)
The Washington Capitals kicked off the Martin Erat era on a high note Thursday, beating the New York Islanders for the first time all season by a final score of 2-1 in a shootout. After Mike Green scored his fifth goal in four games to put the Capitals on top very late in the opening frame, the following 35 minutes were characterized by little pressure by either team. The Islanders came on strong late in the frame and managed to tie the contest with a Kyle Okposo one-timer, but both teams were able to draw out the game to get to overtime and then a shootout. Alex Ovechkin scored the lone goal in the shootout and Braden Holtby completed a sublime performance by shutting down the door to get the Capitals above the .500 points mark at 18-17-2 for the first time all season. With their win, the Caps now lead the Southeast Division based on games played, and have their playoff chances at 55.3%, according to SportsClubStats.
First thing’s first on new acquisition Martin Erat – though he was in the middle of an almost 20-hour day, he looked good. He was fast, tenacious, and his offensive instincts were apparent in his just over 14 minutes of ice time, though his rather empty stat line would not indicate it. It will take him some time to adapt to Adam Oates’ complex system and get used to having more offensive freedom than he did under Barry Trotz, but I certainly liked what I saw in terms of helping the team create offensively if the organization is going to go in to the full “win now” mode.no comments