How it happened: The Capitals drew first blood for the first time this series when Alex Ovechkin tallied his second playoff goal of the postseason on an expert deflection. But the Islanders' fourth line delivered again, when spark plug Casey Cizikas notched the equalizer later in the frame to knot the score at 1. It was a wide-open, physical affair between the two teams and, given their recent history, it was no real surprise that the game required extra time for a decision. But the Capitals won a critical draw during the overtime period and Nicklas Backstrom tallied his third goal in as many games to seal the victory for the Capitals.
What it means: The series now shifts back to Washington for Game 5 at the Verizon Center all tied up at 2-2, with the Capitals having two of the next three games on home ice. No one should be surprised if this series goes the distance, considering how little separation these two teams had throughout the regular season.
Player of the game: Backstrom. For as much hype as Ovechkin gets as the top offensive threat, the Capitals would not be where they are without their first-line center. Backstrom has been the team's most consistent contributor in the series, with three goals in as many games, so it was only fitting that it was No. 19 who notched the winner Tuesday night.
Stat of the game: 0-for-10. That's the Islanders' woeful power-play record in this series. New York came up short on all four opportunities Tuesday night and remains the only one of 16 playoff teams that has failed to convert on the man advantage. The second power-play unit also took a hit during the second period when defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky was forced from the game after getting absolutely demolished along the end boards by Capitals fourth-liner Tom Wilson. Another significant stat to file away: The Islanders registered a whopping 48 hits in regulation. Granted, off-ice officials can be somewhat generous to the home team in this department, but still.
What's next: Game 5, Islanders at Capitals, Thursday, 7 p.m. ET at Verizon Center.