Islanders loss in Game 7 ends season, Coliseum era

The Islanders loss to the Washington Capitals in Game 7 ends their season and 43-year history of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale.

The Islanders could not find a tying goal after going down 2-1 late in the third period in Washington.

The loss ends their playing days at Nassau Coliseum, which opened in 1972. The team is moving to Brooklyn next season.

You have to go back 22 years to find a playoff series won by the Islanders, and that victory in 1993 came against the Capitals. Since then, New York has lost seven consecutive first-round series.

This was the first Game 7 of this year's NHL playoffs and it was a fitting conclusion to this particular matchup. Through the first six games, each team scored 14 goals. Each won on the road. Each won in overtime. And during the regular season, both finished with 101 standing points, and three of their four head-to-head meetings went to overtime.

Washington, though, controlled Monday's action, outshooting New York 26-11.

Picking up right where they left off Saturday, when a brawl broke out involving several players at the end of New York's 3-1 home win in Game 6, the teams immediately stirred up some mayhem.

All of 35 seconds into Game 7, a whole bunch of pushing and shoving right in front of Halak left his net dislodged all the way back to the boards, and knocked the helmet off Islanders right wing Cal Clutterbuck. Fifteen seconds later, Ovechkin and Colin McDonald were jabbing at each other before a faceoff. And a little more than a minute later, Washington defenseman Brooks Orpik was slamming Islanders captain John Tavares into the boards.

The Capitals finally broke through with 85 seconds left in the second period, thanks to Ward. Their team in the lead, the red-clad fans packing the arena rose and roared and clanged their cowbells. But the advantage didn't last long. Less than 3 1/2 minutes into the third period, the Islanders tied it on Nielsen's first goal of the playoffs.

After Kuznetsov put Washington back in front, there was one last bit of tension, when Capitals defenseman John Carlson was whistled for roughing with just under three minutes remaining. But the Capitals killed it off, making the Islanders 0 for 14 on power plays in the series.

Perhaps fueled by a combination of relief and elation, the crowd grew louder and louder as the final seconds ticked away.

AP Wire Services were used in this report.


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