WASHINGTON (AP) - Nicklas Backstrom deflected in Alex Ovechkin's drive from the point on a power play with 3:39 left, lifting the Washington Capitals to a 2-1 victory over the New York Islanders on Wednesday night.
With New York's Blake Comeau off for roughing, Ovechkin whistled a shot from long range that Backstrom tipped past goalie Dwayne Roloson for his first goal of the season and Washington's third straight victory.
Ovechkin also scored for Washington. It was his third straight game with a goal.
Nino Niederreiter scored for the Islanders, who lost in regulation for the first time in three games this season.
The Capitals are 8-0-3 in their last 11 games against New York.
Washington killed off three power plays and improved its penalty kill to 15 for 15 to start the season.
Niederreiter's first career goal staked the Islanders to a 1-0 lead 3:14 into the game. Darting uncovered through the right circle, Niederreiter quickly one-timed Doug Weight's feed from the right corner past Michal Neuvirth.
Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau shuffled his top two lines, opening the game with usual second-line center Tomas Fleischmann skating with the first unit in place of Backstrom, who was dropped to the second line.
But both Fleischmann and Backstrom returned to their customary lines by the start of the second period after the new alignment produced only five first-period shots.
The switch back produced the desired results, as Washington put 15 second-period shots on Roloson, tying the game on Ovechkin's goal 18:19 into the period.
From center ice, Backstrom fed Ovechkin just inside the blue line. Ovechkin corralled the puck, then used defenseman Mark Eaton as a screen to whip a shot from the left wing past Roloson for his fourth goal of the season.
Frans Nielsen missed a chance to put New York ahead with 12:53 remaining in regulation when Neuvirth blocked his try at the right post. The Islanders' Matt Moulson got loose on a break with 6:04 to go, but Neuvirth knocked the puck away. Less than a minute later, Neuvirth thwarted Michael Grabner's cutting move from the left wing.
Notes: RW D.J. King, Washington's new enforcer who played in his first game of the season, got into a fight just 2:47 into his Capitals career, squaring off against Islanders LW Trevor Gillies. ... Washington scratched D Tom Poti (lower body), RW Matt Bradley (lower body) and C Marcus Johansson (leg). ... C John Tavares (head) was out of the Islanders lineup.
The Associated Press News Service
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