Photo: Steven Ryan/Getty Images
The Washington Capitals downed the New York Islanders by a score of 1-0 in a shootout at NYCB Live/Nassau Coliseum on Thursday night. The win put the Capitals one point ahead of the Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins for first place in the East Division with each team down to nine games remaining in the regular season. Goaltender Ilya Samsonov made 26 saves in the win, his third shutout of the season.
Ilya Samsonov stopped all 26 shots against the Islanders, earning his third career shutout. Samsonov improves to 12-3-1 on the season. Samsonov is the only goaltender in the NHL this season with at least 15 starts and fewer than four losses.
— CapitalsPR (@CapitalsPR) April 23, 2021
Capitals’ Lines at Islanders
Forward Michael Raffl, who was acquired from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for the Vegas Golden Knights’ 2021 fifth-round pick on April 12, made his Capitals debut after missing the first four games of his tenure due to an upper-body injury, playing on center Lars Eller’s right wing. Forward Daniel Sprong came out of the lineup in favor of Raffl. Defenseman Trevor Van Riemsdyk moved up to the second-pairing with Justin Schultz out day-to-day due to a lower-body injury. Defenseman Zdeno Chara returned to the lineup after missing Sunday’s 6-3 loss to the Boston Bruins due to a lower-body injury. Jensen moved back over to the right side of the third-pairing after playing on the left on Sunday.
The Capitals led 10-9 in hits, 2-0 in takeaways, and failed to convert on one power play through 20 minutes.
The Islanders led 15-4 in shots, 7-4 in blocked shots, and had three giveaways while the Capitals had four in the first.
Each team won 50% of the draws in the opening period.
The Capitals led 14-7 in second-period shots, 2-0 in takeaways, had six giveaways while the Islanders had seven, failed to score on three power plays, and won 55% of the draws through two.
The Islanders led 22-18 in shots, 15-6 in blocked shots, and 17-15 in hits in the first 40 minutes.
The Capitals led 27-25 in shots, including 9-3 in the third period, 25-21 in hits, 2-0 in takeaways, had eight giveaways while the Islanders had 12, failed to score on three power plays, and won 52% of the draws.
The Islanders led 17-6 in blocked shots and failed to strike on two power plays.
Each team recorded one overtime shot and the Capitals led the category 28-26 in the game.
Islanders forward Jordan Eberle skated in but got denied by Samsonov in the top right corner.
Islanders goaltender Semyon Varlamov shut down the five hole on Capitals forward T.J. Oshie.
Islanders forward Anthony Beauvillier outwaited Samsonov and beat him to the backhand with a wide open net.
Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom skated in and ripped one to the high glove of Varlamov.
Center Brock Nelson missed the net from the slot for the Islanders.
Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov zipped in and beat Varlamov to the blocker to win it. It marked Kuznetsov’s sixth career shootout winner.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) April 23, 2021
The Capitals continue their three-game series against the Islanders on Saturday night. Action from Long Island can be seen on NBC Sports Washington beginning at 7 PM ET.
By Harrison Brown
Big win. Gotta keep it going.
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