In the 0-1 defeat of the Capitals, the teams ended with a goalkeeper showcase with 53 minutes of goalless hockey and a game that was decided by Brock Nelson’s goal 6:55. It was a big departure from the Islanders’ 8-4 win on Thursday, but the outcome remained the same.

“I thought we got off to a slow start. It wasn’t a good first 20 for us,” said Justin Schultz, Capitals defender. “I think we got better as the game went on and we had our chances. We just wouldn’t go for ourselves tonight. Vitek.” [Vanecek] made some big parades for us at the other end to keep us going. “

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Vanecek was the Capitals’ best player during his 38th performance, but couldn’t stop Nelson on a rebound attempt. He robbed Mathew Barzal when he hit the net a moment later in a strange rush, ending with 19 saves in the third period alone. But Washington couldn’t beat islander Semyon Varlamov, the former Capitals netminder who ended up with 29 parades. It was the first time capitals were closed this season.

The capitals (25-10-4) and islanders (25-10-4) are now at the top of the eastern division with 54 points each. They will meet three more times this month, including two on Long Island.

Tuesday’s defeat marked the end of the Capitals’ eight-day road trip against the Islanders, Devils and New York Rangers. Washington finished the game on Thursday evening with 2-3-0 and the next host Boston.

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“I think we did our job against Jersey and came out with two wins,” said center Lars Eller about the road trip. “I think the other games, the New York games, we didn’t play at the level we’re capable of. So, yeah, we didn’t make our move. We weren’t basically good enough. We could be better . ” when we showed these three games. “

Varlamov scored timely saves in the goalless opening of 40 minutes. Carl Hagelin almost buried one of the capitals’ best chances early in the third half, but his wrist didn’t slip past Varlamov.

“Varly made it big,” said Islander’s coach Barry Spy. “I thought your goalkeeper played very well. We had a lot of chances to withdraw. We didn’t. It was a damn good hockey game between two good teams.”

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Vanecek won the capitals after Ilya Samsonov’s 35-point performance in a 5-4 win on Sunday in New Jersey. Coach Peter Laviolette made it clear that during this road trip the capitals would not try to add to the workload of either of their two young goalkeepers. Instead, they plan to use both in the last month and a half of the regular season.

Still, it’s possible Washington might want to add a seasoned goalkeeper before Monday’s close of trading. Neither Samsonov nor Vanecek have playoff experience, and Samsonov has never started more than two games in a row in his NHL career.

Vanecek made a strong case for staying on Tuesday, but the 25-year-old Czech fell to 15-7-3. Samsonov, a 24-year-old Russian, is 9-2-1.

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“I think both are capable of playing at a very high level,” said Eller. “You know I wouldn’t want to be the one making the choice.”

In the first phase, the islanders were relentless on the offensive, but despite 12 shots on goal (and hitting the post twice in the first seven minutes) they were unable to get the puck past Vanecek.

The capitals could not use two power play opportunities in the second game. But they left the islanders behind them at 12-7 during that period, and the teams were even at 19 shots apiece after 40 minutes.

“I liked the way we played the second period,” said Laviolette. “It seemed like we climbed back a bit. It was tight. Not a lot of space.”

Winger Jakub Vrana returned to the line-up after being a healthy scratch for two games and Richard Panik was a healthy scratch. Vrana said Tuesday morning that he was “obviously disappointed” after being removed from the line-up, but agreed with Laviolette’s assessment that he had to play harder on the puck and limit his mistakes.

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“The only thing I can control is go out and do my a-off,” said Vrana. “Work hard, try to do what I do best and that’s my focus now. I’ll go out there and, like I said, try to help the team get the win and then we’ll move on . “

Vrana was skating at 1:15 p.m. Tuesday when his goalless streak hit 12 games. The last time he scored was on March 9, when he scored two goals against the Devils in a 5-4 win in extra time.