Jan. 1 (UPI) -- New York Islanders center Casey Cizikas scored twice to help his squad snatch a late comeback victory against the Washington Capitals.
Cizikas lit the lamp 7:13 into the game to give the Islanders an initial lead. His second-period score tied the game at 3-3, before Tom Kuhnhackl netted the winner in the 4-3 victory Tuesday at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C.
"That's a massive win for us and for the guys in this room," Cizikas told reporters. "We are building toward something and getting back to our game. [Tuesday] was a massive way to do that."
Leo Komarov fired a pass to defenseman Scott Mayfield during the game's first scoring exchange. Mayfield then ripped the puck toward the goal, where Cizikas redirected the shot into the net. Brock Nelson gave New York a 2-0 lead when he scored about three minutes later.
Evgeny Kuznetsov then powered the Capitals back into the game. Kuznetsov cut the Islanders' lead in half with a goal 14 seconds after Nelson lit the lamp. Tom Wilson then tied the score with a goal for Washington with 5:43 remaining in the first period.
Kuznetsov gave Washington a 3-2 lead with another score 44 seconds into the second period, before New York came back to win the game.
Matt Martin collected the puck at center ice before firing a pass up for Cizikas about four minutes into the second frame. Cizikas then netted a knuckled shot past Capitals keeper Braden Holtby.
Kuhnhackl made the game-winning shot about eight minutes later. He received the puck from Mathew Brazal from behind the net before roofing the go-ahead goal over Holtby's shoulder.
Islanders goalie Semyon Varlamov had 36 saves, including 18 in the third period to secure the victory.
"I thought we didn't give them that much throughout the first two periods," Kuhnhackl said. "Obviously they had a push at the end. But everybody was committed and the goaltending was huge too."
The Islanders (25-10-3) face the New Jersey Devils at 7 p.m. EST Thursday at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y. The Capitals (27-9-5) battle the Carolina Hurricanes at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Raleigh, N.C.