TORONTO, ONTARIO – AUGUST 12: Semyon Varlamov #40 and Josh Bailey #12 of the New York Islanders celebrate a 4-2 victory over the Washington Capitals in Game One of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena on August 12, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

The New York Islanders take care of business in Game 1 despite giving the Washington Capitals plenty of chances on the power play.

The New York Islanders are rolling. The Isles have won four of their first five games since the NHL’s restart and on Wednesday they overcame self-inflicted wounds to grind out a crucial Game 1 win.

The Washington Capitals were on the power play early and often, but the Isles were clearly the better team in five-on-five hockey. After conceding two power-play goals, the Islanders turned up the intensity and scored four unanswered goals.

The orange and blue were solid on the penalty kill, aside from simply taking too many penalties in the first place. The group slotted their first shorthanded goal of the postseason when Brock Nelson made something happen and Josh Bailey found himself in the right place at the right time.

Anthony Beauvillier added an insurance goal late to put the Caps away for good. Beau has a point in every single game in Toronto and he continues to be one of the best skaters for the Isles. The young skater is riding a five-game point streak.

Stop Taking Penalties

The Isles are overcoming silly penalties so far in Toronto, but it’s only a matter of time before that comes back to bite them. This goes double against Washington considering the fact that Alex Ovechkin is one of the most dangerous power-play scorers in the NHL. Not to mention, T.J. Oshie netted two power-play goals on Wednesday.

Head coach Barry Trotz will certainly have a few things to address with his team after Wednesday’s win. The offensive zone penalties and one inexplicable too many men on the ice penalty were some of the low points of this game.

The Isles are the better team at even strength and cutting down on the mental mistakes will go a long way towards winning this series.

Other News & Notes

  • Capitals head coach Todd Reirden was not happy with Anders Lee’s hit on Nicklas Backstrom that resulted in a penalty and an early exit for Backstrom. Reirden called the hit “predatory.”
  • Lee’s goal was the second of his playoff career.
  • New York won 36 faceoffs compared to Washington’s 20. The Isles dominated the faceoff circle.
  • Semyon Varlamov put forth another solid showing, only allowing two goals on 24 shots. Both goals came on the power play.
  • Game 2 is set for Friday, Aug. 14 at 8 p.m. ET.

NY/NJ hoops reporter (NBA/NCAA) & sports betting writer for XL Media. Never had the makings of a varsity athlete.