LANDOVER -- Washington right wing Peter Bondra roared out of a four-game goal-less streak with four goals and two assists, including the one on the game-winner by Michal Pivonka with 1:21 gone in overtime, as he led the Capitals back from a three-goal deficit to a 6-5 victory over the New York Islanders last night.
Bondra and Pivonka were the Capitals' offense in this one. The two combined for Washington's first goal as well, when Bondra assisted on Pivonka's short-handed goal in the first period.
Bondra then scored his first goal goal in the second, to bring Washington to within 4-2. He followed that with a natural hat trick in the third. When he assisted on Pivonka's game-winner, it was a career high six-point night.
"Of course this is something you dream about," Bondra said. "You picture comebacks and you scoring a hat trick. But I can't do it all by myself. I think our whole team played good. Jimmy [Carey] had a hard time, but he was there for the finish and we were getting a lot of good chances."
Bondra hadn't scored in four games and had been struggling with the flu off and on.
"Sometimes it happens like this," said Washington coach Jim Schoenfeld. "He'd been under the weather and there was a lot of energy pent up. He let it out to night."
It was the first time the Caps have rallied from a three-goal deficit since the season opener at Winnipeg two years ago.
Said Pivonka: "We had nothing to lose, when you're down 5-2. We've been there before. We just said, 'Let's go.' Peter got us going.
"On the game winner, I was fortunate enough to pick it up on my stick and I just backhanded it past the goalie," said Pivonka.
The Caps fell behind 2-0 in the first period on a short-handed goal by Niklas Andersson and an even-strength goal by Martin Straka, and were down 4-1 with 7:41 gone in the second.
The win gives the Capitals a 25-21-5 record and a two-game winning streak as they prepare for a three-game western road trip starting Wednesday in Edmonton.
The Capitals were out-shooting New York, 8-2, and on the power play. Andersson went around Caps defenseman Sergei Gonchar and beat Carey one-on-one.
The Islanders made it 2-0 with 5:57 to go, when a pile-up in front of the Capitals' net set the stage for Straka to left one over the pile past the tumbled Carey.
With 52.9 second left in the period, Washington got its own short-handed goal, when Pivonka completed a two-on-one break away by putting back the rebound of Bondra's shot.
But 14 seconds later the Islanders' Alexander Semak scored on the power play for a 3-1 first-period lead.
In the second, the Capitals buzzed around the Islanders goal,
but it was the Islanders who struck again. This time it was Todd Bertuzzi putting in rebound at 7:41. That made it 4-1 and Schoenfeld again changed his goalies, sending Carey back in.
With 9:10 remaining, Gonchar passed to Dale Hunter and he quickly relayed to Bondra who beat Soderstrom to make it 4-2.
After a series of penalties, Islander Derek King scored on a 4-on-3 power play to again give the visitors a 5-2 cushion with 4:28 left in the middle period.