New York Islanders sweep week, shutout Caps in Washington (Highlights)
Dec 1, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; New York Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak (41) celebrates with Islanders center John Tavares (91) after their game against the Washington Capitals at Verizon Center. The Islanders won 3-0. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

John Tavares and the New York Islanders swept the week away by hammering the Washington Capitals 3-0 on Thursday night.

  • New York Islanders 3 (9-10-4, 22 pts)
  • Washington Capitals 0 (13-7-2, 28 pts)
  • NHL, Final, Box Score
  • Verizon Center, Washington, D.C.
The New York Islanders had a successful week taking all six possible points after a disappointing western road trip. After blowing a 3-0 lead against Pittsburgh in the third period on Wednesday night (and regaining the lead and winning the game in the last minute), the Islanders gained a 3-0 lead against the Washington Capitals on Thursday and never looked back.

It wasn’t the cleanest win, the Islanders took a ton of penalties in the process and found themselves holding off a furious Washington offense, but found a way to put away the win and Jaroslav Halak‘s first shutout of the season.

Your New, New York Islanders

Look back at Monday night’s win against the Calgary Flames. Now go watch the highlights from the Pittsburgh game and the Washington game.

Do you see the difference?

One crucial element that the Islanders found in their game against the Penguins was the importance of skating hard and maintaining a fast pace. The Islanders have been fast, gritty and relentless in their sudden offensive outburst. After not scoring more than three goals and not winning a regulation game since the Vancouver matchup way back on November 7. They have now won the past three games straight and they have won two of those three in regulation, two of those wins coming to Metropolitan division foes.

What. A. Turnaround.

Isles vs. Caps

The game was a stalemate for the first two periods after the Islanders nearly gave up a goal to Justin Williams but the puck was just too late to make it for a good goal.

The Islanders continued to exchange opportunities throughout the first and second periods, but the Islanders continued to surrender very careless and, quite frankly, stupid penalties to the Caps.

But the penalty kill is resurgent throughout the past couple of games, going over 91% in their past eight plus attempts.

The third period is where the Islanders finally caught a break. After a great offensive flurry by the Capitals, Shane Prince scored on a gorgeous breakaway to diminish the spirits of the Verizon Center. Three minutes later, after a mad scramble in front, Brock Nelson managed to put the puck past two defenders and Braden Holtby for a quick 2-0 lead. Jason Chimera padded the Islanders lead to three after a slick backhand that beat Holtby.

Looking to Sunday

Aside from the reckless penalties, it was a very solid win for the Islanders and easily their best two games of the season. The Islanders decreased their deficit to five points away from the nearest playoff seed. Coming into this week, the deficit was nine.

The Islanders are on their way back to relevancy. They need to keep up the speed, skating, and possession if they want to keep moving up in the standings. The Detroit Red Wings are up next and the Islanders know that to keep climbing out of the hole they dug themselves, they need to keep this momentum moving.

Grew up a diehard Islanders and Mets fan based out of Northern New Jersey. Concluding my Broadcast Communications degree at William Paterson University. WP Sportsdesk member, Stan Fischler correspondent, music buff and total Star Wars freak. Follow my social media handles to learn more. Matt Di Giacomo is a Staff Writer for the Islanders on Elite Sports NY. He encourages team discussion. Tweet him @mdigiacESNY and check out his reviews on YouTube.