Daniel Sprong scored twice in injured Alex Ovechkin’s place on Washington’s prime line, Ilya Samsonov made 21 saves and the Capitals beat the New York Islanders 6-Three Saturday evening.
Evgeny Kuznetsov had a objective and two assists, and Nic Dowd, Garnet Hathaway and T.J. Oshie additionally scored because the Capitals received for the second time in three nights at Nassau Coliseum.
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Washington, which additionally received 1-Zero in a shootout on Thursday, remained in first place within the tight East Division, one level forward of second-place Pittsburgh. The Islanders are in third, two factors behind the Penguins, and three forward of Boston.
“We generated some possibilities early within the recreation and that gave us momentum,” Kuznetsov mentioned. “If we’re lacking a participant like Alex, we now have to step up.”
The Capitals additionally improved to 17-7-2 on the highway, one win forward of Winnipeg for essentially the most highway wins this season. The Capitals have received 5 of seven conferences with the Islanders, and the groups meet for the ultimate time throughout the common season Tuesday in Washington.
“It was a troublesome recreation for us,″ Islanders coach Barry Trotz mentioned. “We dug ourselves somewhat little bit of gap, discovered our approach out of it, then we put ourselves proper again in a gap.”
Anthony Beauvillier, Adam Pelech and Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored for the Islanders. Ilya Sorokin completed with 24 saves.
Ovechkin missed the competition with a lower-body harm. It was the primary recreation Ovechkin missed as a consequence of harm throughout the abbreviated 56-game season. The 35-year-old Ovechkin — sixth on the all-time targets record at 730 — additionally missed 4 video games earlier whereas on the league’s COVID-19 record. The Capitals had been Three-Zero-1 in these 4 recreation, together with two wins over the Islanders.
“We had been in a position to maintain the traces intact and get contributions from in every single place,″ Capitals coach Peter Laviolette mentioned.
Ovechkin has 24 targets in 43 video games this season. He hadn’t missed a recreation due to an harm since March 2015 and has missed simply 18 video games throughout his 16-year profession as a result of he was harm.
Sprong had his earlier two-goal recreation towards the Islanders in January 2018 when he enjoying for Pittsburgh. Laviolette mentioned was assured inserting Sprong — a wholesome scratch on Thursday — in Ovechkin’s spot in a pinch and gratified with the outcome.
“He performed an actual good recreation,” Laviolette added. “He was harmful. He was attacking the sport with velocity as effectively.”
Samsonov improved to 13-Three-1 this season and handed the Islanders simply their third regulation loss in 25 residence video games (19-Three-Three). Samsonov additionally earned the shutout win over the Islanders on Thursday. The 24-year-old netminder has by no means began greater than three straight video games.
Trailing 2-1 after 20 minutes, the Islanders tied at 7:37 of the second as Pelech shocked Samsonov with a protracted slap shot on a coast-to-coast effort. It was his third objective of the season and first short-handed tally of his profession.
Dowd put the Capitals again forward for good with 7:39 left within the interval when his excessive shot from the left faceoff circle eluded Sorokin. Sprong prolonged the result in Four-2 about 2 1/2 minutes later. Defenseman Brendan Dillon assisted on each targets.
Pageau introduced the Islanders inside one with a power-play objective with 2:48 remaining within the second.
Nevertheless, the Capitals maintained stress within the third and added to their lead. Kuznetsov added his ninth of the season at 7:35 when his excessive shot eluded Sorokin, who had a troublesome evening whereas falling to 12-5-1 on the season.
Sprong added his second of the competition and ninth of the season with 5:17 remaining to finish the scoring.
“I believed our line created quite a bit possibilities from the beginning,” Sprong mentioned. “We clicked fairly effectively. We simply should construct on it.”
Hathaway notched his fifth of the season 2:33 into the sport when his angled shot from the left nook eluded Sorokin. Oshie made it 2-Zero at 10:55 together with his 17th objective.
Beauvillier bought the Islanders on the scoreboard with a power-play objective with 5 1/2 minutes left in te opening interval as he knocked a unfastened puck previous Samsonov for this 10th.
Pageau mentioned he was glad the groups would play once more following his squad’s irritating residence loss.
“The good factor is we now have an opportunity to return to Washington and hopefully steal the 2 factors,” he mentioned. “We simply should deal with what we now have to do. After we play and belief one another, that’s after we are at our greatest.”
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Capitals defenseman Zdeno Chara performed his 1,600th profession recreation, 13th-most in NHL historical past. The 44-year-old Chara, a third-round choice by the Islanders in 1996, is in his first season with Washington after 14 seasons with the Boston Bruins. The 6-foot-9 blueliner received the Stanley Cup with Boston in 2011 and helped the Bruins attain the finals in 2013 and 2019. Chara additionally received the Norris Trophy because the NHL’s prime defenseman in 2009 and is the fifth defenseman to achieve the video games milestone.
The Islanders have three gamers with lively consecutive recreation streaks of at the least 240 video games: Brock Nelson at 293, Mathew Barzal with 280, Ryan Pulock at 242. All three gamers have appeared in each recreation since Trotz turned the Isles’ coach to begin the 2018-19 season.