During that loss, the Capitals lost their top goaltender, Pete Peeters, with an injury. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
With backup goalie Clint Malarchuk in the nets, the Capitals have been unbeatable.
Malarchuk stopped 23 shots Tuesday night at Philadelphia as the Capitals stunned the Flyers, 3-1, and extended their winning streak behind Malarchuk to four in a row. They are unbeaten in his five games (4-0-1) since replacing Peeters.
When the Flyers moved into first place on Dec. 26, they were seven points ahead of the fifth-place Capitals. Now the teams are tied, one point behind the division-leading Islanders.
Dave Christian and Mike Gartner scored first-period goals, and the Capitals went on to beat goalie Ron Hextall for the first time. He was 6-0-1 against them.
New York Islanders 3, Minnesota 3--Hot-shooting Pat LaFontaine scored on a power play with 7:31 left at Uniondale, N.Y., to get the Islanders a tie.
It was LaFontaine's 27th goal of the season and his seventh in the last five games. It was the point the Islanders needed to take over the division lead.
In overtime the Islanders are 3-0-4.