WASHINGTON (AP) — Brock Nelson scored twice, Josh Bailey and Ryan Strome added goals, Jaroslav Halak made 24 saves, and the New York Islanders beat the Washington Capitals 4-1 in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference playoff series Wednesday night.
Nelson, Bailey and Strome had never scored in the playoffs. All were first-round draft picks by New York, none is older than 25, and they entered Wednesday with these combined playoff numbers: seven games, zero goals, three assists.
That didn’t matter one bit on this night. Nor did Halak’s struggles down the stretch in the regular season. The goalie who stymied Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals while playing for eighth-seeded Montreal in a 2010 first-round upset, was mostly superb, allowing only Marcus Johansson’s goal in the final minute of the first period.