Islanders defeat Capitals in Game 2 of Eastern First Round, extend lead

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The New York Islanders defeated the Washington Capitals 5-2 in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference First Round to extend their lead in the best-of-7 series at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto on Friday.

Nick Leddy, Matt Martin and Brock Nelson scored in the second period, and Semyon Varlamov made 23 saves for New York. 

Teams with a 2-0 lead are 324-51 (86.4 percent) winning a best-of-7 Stanley Cup Playoff series. Game 3 will be played in Toronto, the Eastern hub city, on Sunday (Noon ET; USA, SN360, TVAS, MSG, MSG+, NBCSWA). 

Alex Ovechkin scored two goals for Washington, which played without Nicklas Backstrom after the center was injured in the first period of Game 1 on Wednesday. Braden Holtby made 27 saves. 

Ovechkin scored his first of the postseason 56 seconds into the first period when he slipped a backhand shot past Varlamov to give Washington a 1-0 lead. 

New York scored three of the next four goals, which all came in a span of 3:58. 

Leddy tied it 1-1 with a power-play goal at 2:56 of the second period, a slap shot from the left point. Anthony Beauvillier had an assist to extend his point streak to six games (four goals, three assists). 

Martin gave the Islanders a 2-1 lead when he redirected Scott Mayfield‘s feed at 5:01. 

Ovechkin redirected Brenden Dillon‘s slap shot for his second goal at 6:39 to tie it 2-2. 

But Nelson stripped Jakub Vrana at the Islanders blue line and scored on a breakaway 15 seconds later to give New York a 3-2 lead at 6:54. 

Varlamov preserved the lead with a glove save on John Carlson‘s slap shot from the right point at 6:59 of the third period. 

Cal Clutterbuck redirected a shot from Jean-Gabriel Pageau at 17:14 to make it 4-2, and Anders Lee scored into an empty net at 18:21 for the 5-2 final. 

Backstrom was replaced by center Lars Eller, who played for the first time since Aug. 3. Eller was in quarantine after he briefly left Toronto to be with his wife for the birth of their child.

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