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Capitals beat streaking Islanders 5-2

WASHINGTON (AP) — Alex Ovechkin scored the go-ahead goal, Matt Niskanen had a goal and two assists and the Washington Capitals beat the streaking New York Islanders 5-2 on Friday night.

Ovechkin gave Washington a 3-2 lead midway through the second period. He has four goals in his last four games,

Marcus Johansson and Evgeny Kuznetsov each had a goal and an assist, and Joel Ward added an empty-netter for the Capitals.

Braden Holtby stopped 26 shots. He has a 1.86 goals-against average over his last seven games.

After a 3-2 overtime loss on Long Island on Wednesday night, the Capitals earned a split of the home-and-home set.

John Tavares and Anders Lee scored for New York, and Chad Johnson made 22 saves. The Islanders, who began play tied with Pittsburgh atop the Metropolitan Division, had won five straight and 10 of 11.

The Capitals took a 3-2 lead at 9:53 of the second when Tom Wilson skated in across the blue line and passed to Ovechkin, who fired past Johnson from the right circle for his 12th goal of the season.

Kuznetsov went into the corner for a loose puck, skated out into the circle and fired a shot over Johnson’s shoulder to make it 4-2 at 5:56 of the third.

Washington didn’t have a shot on goal until 10:01 of the first period, but a hooking call against Matt Martin gave its second-ranked power play unit a shot at New York’s 29th-ranked penalty killers. Thirty-one seconds later, the Capitals opened the scoring when Niskanen’s slapper from the slot deflected past Johnson.

Johansson’s ninth of the season made it 2-0 at 18:27 of the period. The Capitals had gone nearly 150 minutes over parts of four games since their last even-strength goal.

It took New York, which outshot Washington 11-5 in the first period, just 1:06 to tie it.

First Tavares, all alone to the left of Holtby, banged home the rebound of a shot by Nick Eddy for his 10th of the season.

Then with 27 seconds left in the period, Lee eluded Caps defenders to Holtby’s right and redirected a pass from Travis Hamonic at the right point for the equalizer.

NOTES: New York D Lubomir Visnovsky left in the second period with an upper-body injury and did not return. Washington F Brooks Laich (shoulder) returned to the lineup after missing 15 of the last 16 games. D Mike Green (upper-body injury) missed his second straight. … Holtby passed Pat Riggin for sixth place on the Capitals’ franchise wins list with 68. … Jack Capuano coached his 300th game with the Islanders. He’s 134-127-39.

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