WASHINGTON (AP) — Lars Eller scored two goals, including the winner, and had an assist to help the Washington Capitals beat the New York Islanders 4-3 on Thursday night.

Eller was arguably the best player on the ice, drawing two penalties and committing one as part of an eventful outing. The Danish center’s play helped Washington escape despite being outshot 38-19 and 16-2 in the third period.

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Braden Holtby made 35 saves, including many in the third while the Islanders were pouring it on. Taylor Chorney and Alex Chiasson each scored his first goal of the season for the Capitals.

New York’s Anders Lee scored twice and John Tavares got his 12th goal of the season, one behind Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov for the NHL lead. Jaroslav Halak made 15 saves.

Eller looked as if he was feeling it from his first shift. He raced down the ice on the backcheck to break up an odd-man rush and sent the puck up the ice to pave the way for Chorney’s first goal since Jan. 1.

Seemingly always around the puck, Eller beat Halak on a slap shot off the rush with 3:21 left to put the Capitals ahead for good. Eller went to Montreal and Halak to St. Louis when they were traded for each other in 2010.

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It took Eller’s heroics for the Capitals to overcome the Islanders’ continued success on the power play. Counting the power-play goals by Tavares and Lee, New York has scored on seven of its past 14 opportunities after starting the season 2 of 33.

NOTES: Islanders D Adam Pelech didn’t make the trip and is day-to-day with an undisclosed injury. … The Capitals recalled F Liam O’Brien from the AHL and sent down Anthony Peluso.


Islanders: Return home to face the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday night.

Capitals: Visit the Boston Bruins on Saturday night.

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