UNIONDALE, N. Discount Air Jordan .Y. -- With points at a premium for the playoff-chasing Washington Capitals, rookie Evgeny Kuznetsov was the difference for his struggling team. Kuznetsov scored in regulation and had the only goal in the shootout to lift the Capitals to a 4-3 win over the New York Islanders on Saturday and keep Washingtons flickering playoff hopes alive. Nicklas Backstrom and Joel Ward scored to tie the game midway through the second after the Islanders took a 3-1 lead. Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby stopped all three Islander attempts in the shootout after making 35 saves and Washington snapped a five-game losing streak to move within two points of Columbus for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot. The Capitals are 9-2-0 in their last 11 games at Nassau Coliseum. "We battled back, thats the key," said Backstrom, whose 15th goal of the season at 12:45 of the second made the score 3-2. "We had to do whatever was necessary to get those two points." Both teams had chances in overtime. Holtby denied Brock Nelson point-blank at 3:35 and Evgeni Nabokov stopped Alexander Ovechkin in the closing seconds of the five-minute extra session. John Persson and Frans Nielsen had given the Islanders a 3-1 lead midway through the second, but the Capitals fought back to tie it 3-3 heading into the third. Perssons goal was his first in the NHL, coming in his fifth game since being recalled from AHL Bridgeport on March 27. The goal at 4:16 of the second was assisted by defencemen Travis Hamonic and Calvin de Haan. "Its a great feeling, thats for sure," said the 21-year-old Persson, one of nine rookies in the Islanders lineup. "I wish we had come out on top, but we played a strong game. The effort was there." The Islanders came out swarming, playing the same hard-edged game theyve exhibited in recent weeks with the rookie-laden lineup. Despite playing without its top two forwards, John Tavares and Kyle Okposo, New York came in with a three-game winning streak. New York is 5-0-2 in its last seven games and 7-2-2 in its last 11 contests. But once again, the Islanders allowed a two-goal lead to slip away as they fell to 31-35-11, last in the Metropolitan Division. Cal Clutterbuck opened the scoring at 12:55 of the first, firing his 12th of the season past Holtby with assists from Casey Cizikas and Michael Grabner, who returned after missing nine games with concussion symptoms but left again after only seven shifts. The Islanders kept the pressure on the Capitals throughout the first, outshooting the visitors 17-8. Washington tied the game at 2:36 of the second on Kuznetsovs goal. The 21-year-old Russian centre was the Capitals first-round draft pick in 2010 and made his NHL debut on March 29. Nielsen put New York ahead 3-1 with a power-play goal at 9:55 of the second, one-timing a slick pass from Josh Bailey past Holtby from the top of the right circle. Matt Donovan also assisted on Nielsens career-best 24th of the season. But Backstrom cut the lead in half before Ward tied it was his 23rd at 15:01 after a giveaway in front by Islanders defenceman Thomas Hickey. The Capitals (35-30-13) have been struggling to stay in the playoff race. They lost 2-1 to the Devils in New Jersey on Friday and are 2-3-3 in their last seven games. "All we can worry about is ourselves," Backstrom said. "You cant control anything else, but how you play as a team. We feel like we have our confidence back after this win." The Capitals have four games remaining. NOTES: Ovechkin needs one goal for 50 this season. He would be the 11th player in league history to score 50 goals or more five times. . The Islanders are 25-10-4 when they score at least three goals and are 6-25-7 when they do not. ... Following the game, the Islanders recalled defenceman Scott Mayfield from Bridgeport after de Haan left the game with an upper body injury. Wholesale Air Jordan . Less than 24 hours later, in the same arena, he tried to recreate the magic of his all-time favourite player. Hilliard scored a career-high 26 points and No. Fake Jordan . "We cannot stay the same way the whole season long," said Reyes. "This is not acceptable. Something needs to change because were a better team than what were showing right now. Its a long season and we just need to continue to push." Its been a frustrating week for the ballclub. NEWARK, N.J. -- The Toronto Maple Leafs picked up size and depth in Sundays NHL draft in the former of Rimouski centre Frederik Gauthier. But they will likely have to wait for their 21st overall pick to make his presence felt in the NHL. "Hes big," Toronto GM Dave Nonis said when asked about his first-round pick. "Hes a big man." Gauthier is one for the future and, at six foot four and 215 pounds, the 18-year-old from Laval, Que., is a load. Hes billed as a strong two-way player who led first-year Quebec Major Junior Hockey League players in faceoff percentage. He ranked eighth among North American skaters, according to NHL Central Scouting. "Ive never seen a kid get back and play defence like he does in 20 years," said Chris Bordeleau of NHL Central Scouting. "In his own end, hes always around the puck. A kid that can play defence like he does at his age, with that kind of maturity, is very rare." Gauthier had 22 goals and 28 assists in his first season with the Oceanic, to rank fourth among rookies. He also helped Canada earn a gold medal at the 2013 Under-18 World Championship in Russia with a goal and three assists in seven games. Nonis said the Leafs had four or five players in mind with their first ppick and had looked into moving up. Cheap Jordan From China. But they abandoned the effort after deducing that Gauthier would still be there when their turn came around. "He fills a need long-term for us," said Nonis. "I dont expect that well see him shortly but hes come a long way in a short amount of time. He was playing midget hockey not too long ago." Gauthier will come to rookie camp with the Leafs. "Someone asked me earlier how long is it going to take for him. Its going to take as long as it takes," said Nonis. "Theres not going to be any rushing of any of these players. We want to do a better job of being as deep as we can be so we can keep the players where they should be playing until theyre developed and ready to come and play for us." Gauthier, who says he models his game after Jordan Staal, said he was surprised and excited to be taken by Toronto. He had spoken to the team at the recent NHL Combine. "Ill try and make the NHL next year for sure," he said. "And if I dont, Ill go back to Rimouski and play junior and continue at school." Nonis said he looked at moving higher in the draft but the price was too steep. "The assets to move up didnt make any sense." ' ' '