WASHINGTON -- The Washington Capitals enter their home opener Saturday night as the defending Presidents' Trophy winners, but still in pursuit of their first Stanley Cup.
After rolling to 120 points -- 11 more than any other team -- the Capitals were eliminated in six games in the Eastern Conference semifinals by their rivals and eventual cup winners, the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Capitals opened this season Thursday night in the same building where last season ended and endured a similar result, dropping a 3-2 decision at Pittsburgh in a game decided by a shootout.
Trailing 2-1 after two periods, Washington tied it in the third and had several chances in overtime.
"I thought we had a good third period and I thought the 3-on-3 we were very good," Capitals coach Barry Trotz said.
Washington looks to carry that momentum into Saturday night against an Islanders team it went 3-0-1 against last season.
Reigning Vezina Trophy winner Braden Holtby made 28 saves against Pittsburg and right winger Andre Burakovsky scored twice while playing on the second line with Marcus Johansson and center Nicklas Backstrom.
"I think all three of us are thinking the same way. Me and (Johansson) have a lot of speed on the outside and Nicki is probably the smartest player in the league," Burakovsky said. "I think we have a lot of chemistry and we'll see a lot from it."
Trotz added: "That was by far our best line I thought tonight. All the other lines had spurts where they were okay, but they weren't as consistent as that line."
Rookie Zach Sanford, 21, made his NHL debut against Pittsburgh on the third line with center Lars Eller, who was acquired via trade from the Canadians in the offseason, and right winger Justin Williams.
In 41 career games against the Islanders, Alex Ovechkin has 32 goals and 15 assists, while Backstrom has 24 assists in 31 games. Holtby is 10-1-3 with a 2.21 career goals against average versus New York.
In their opener Thursday night, the Islanders rallied to tie the Rangers at 2 early in the third period before dropping a 5-3 decision at Madison Square Garden.
"There could be some changes," Islanders coach Jack Capuano told NHL.com. "We got guys hanging around here. We can't go with six defensemen. It's impossible to have six defensemen on your roster. We have to give other guys an opportunity here to find out early and see what we want to do on the back end."
The Islanders got goals from Nick Leddy, Cal Clutterbuck and Brock Nelson.
The Rangers went 1-for-5 on the power play while the Islanders failed in three attempts.
"Obviously even strength, it was a close game," Capuano said. "Shots were 25-25. They pounded pucks on their power play. There were 12 shots on their power play and they got the big goal when they needed it."
New York now faces a Washington team that cashed in 21.9 percent (fifth best in the NHL) of its power play chances last season.
In his first action since March 8 of last season due to a groin injury, Jaroslav Halak made 34 saves against the Rangers.
Saturday night marks a homecoming for Jason Chimera, who spent seven seasons with Washington before signing with the Islanders as a free agent in the offseason.
His line, including center John Tavares and fellow free-agent signee Andrew Ladd, was scoreless Thursday night.
Ladd has 14 goals and 19 assists in 42 games against Washington while Tavares owns 12 goals and 12 assists in 25 contests. Halak is 6-6-0 with a 2.73 goals against average versus the Capitals.