UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- John Tavares scored two power play goals in a span of less than a minute late in the third period Saturday as the New York Islanders pulled away from the Washington Capitals, 5-2, at Nassau Coliseum.
Both of Tavares' goals came during rare four-minute power plays.
His first was a put back of a rebound of a Brad Boyes shot with 7:47 and his second, a put back that bounced off the top post and capped a furious flurry in front of the Capitals' net, was awarded after a lengthy review. More than two minutes of play elapsed before a stoppage allowed officials to look at the replay of Tavares' second goal.
Frans Nielsen provided an insurance goal with 3:01 left for the Islanders, who outshot the Capitals 45-24.
Josh Bailey and Casey Cizikas also scored for the Islanders (11-11-3), who concluded a season-high seven-game homestand by earning at least one point for the fifth straight game and moving within a point of the New York Rangers for eighth place in the East.
The Islanders finished 3-2-2 on the homestand and begin a three-game road trip Sunday at the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Evgeni Nabokov made 22 saves in another impressive outing for the Islanders. He's allowed just nine goals in his last four starts.
Joel Ward and Nicklas Backstrom scored for the Capitals (10-12-1), who had their three-game winning streak stopped as they failed to reach .500 for the first time this year. Washington is still an impressive 8-4-0 since a 2-8-1 start.
Rookie goaltender Philipp Grubauer made 40 saves for the Capitals in his first NHL start. Grubauer was spelling starter Braden Holtby, who made 11 straight starts prior to Saturday.
The decisive four-minute power plays were created when Mike Ribeiro drew consecutive penalties for high sticking and unsportsmanlike conduct and after Jeff Schultz was whistled for high sticking.
The teams traded goals until the Islanders' third period outburst. The Islanders took the lead 10:46 into the first when Nielsen picked up a loose puck at center ice and dished it to Bailey, who capped the 2-on-1 by drawing Grubauer to the left of the net and then wristing a shot into the right-hand corner of the net.
The Capitals tied it on a fluke power play goal less than 90 seconds into the second. John Carlson's slap shot from the blue line glanced off Nabokov's glove, but Ward -- who had his back to the goal -- glanced over his shoulder and backhanded the puck past three Islanders and Nabokov.
The Islanders regained the lead just before the midway point of the second when Cizikas beat Grubauer with a slap shot from the right faceoff circle. Matt Martin set up the goal by picking off the puck at center ice and passing it to Colin McDonald.
Backstrom tied it 7:09 into the third with a scorching slap shot from just beyond the left faceoff circle that sailed over Nabokov's right shoulder.
Notes: The Islanders scratched center Keith Aucoin, winger Eric Boulton and defenseman Joe Finley, while the Capitals scratched goalie Michal Neuvirth, defenseman Tom Poti and winger Aaron Volpatti. ... Islanders defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky returned to the team after missing two games because of a family tragedy in his native Slovakia. ... Islanders assistant coach Brent Thompson began serving a two-game suspension Saturday for drawing a game misconduct Thursday following the Islanders' 2-1 overtime loss to the Rangers. Thompson was arguing the sticking penalty on Michael Grabner that led to the Rangers' game-winning power play goal. ... Grubauer made his NHL debut against the Flyers on Feb. 27, when he made 14 saves in relief of Braden Holtby in the Capitals' 4-1 loss. ... Saturday marked the start of the Capitals' fourth set of back-to-back games, but their first set played entirely on the road. Washington visits the Rangers on Sunday.