Photo: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images
The Washington Capitals beat the New York Islanders by a score of 1-0 at Capital One Arena on Tuesday night in the team’s first game with fans in the stands at home since March 4, 2020. The win lifted the Capitals one point ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins for first place in the East Division. The Capitals have one game in hand on the Penguins. Goaltender Vitek Vanecek made 18 saves to earn the shutout.
Capitals’ Lines vs. Islanders
Captain Alex Ovechkin missed his second straight game with a lower-body injury and defenseman Justin Schultz missed his third straight with a lower-body injury. The Capitals made no line changes from their 6-3 win over the Islanders on Saturday other than in goal.
After Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov won a puck battle against Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech in the corner and poked the puck to forward Daniel Sprong, Sprong roofed it past the high glove of Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokin to open the scoring for the Capitals 89 seconds in.
Less than 2 mins in Sprong on the board! pic.twitter.com/clVuCWaczQ— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) April 27, 2021
The Capitals led 10-7 in shots, 6-1 in takeaways, 14-12 in hits, and failed to score on one power play in the first.
The Islanders posted two giveaways while the Capitals had four and won 53% of the draws in the opening stanza.
Each team recorded six blocked shots in the period.
After Islanders forward Matt Martin hit Capitals forward Michael Raffl into the boards and Raffl winced to the bench in pain, defenseman Zdeno Chara threw punches at Martin in a fight that was broken up by the officials 4:20 into the second. Raffl returned nearly four minutes later.
Zdeno Chara doesn’t stand for Matt Martin hitting Michael Raffl from behind pic.twitter.com/TEcI9dIiux— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) April 28, 2021
The Capitals led 23-12 in shots, including 13-5 in the second, 10-1 in takeaways, and failed to score on two power plays through 40 minutes.
The Islanders led 27-20 in hits, 13-8 in blocked shots, and had four giveaways while the Capitals had five in the first two periods.
Each team won 50% of the draws through two.
The Capitals led 33-18 in shots, including 10-6 in the third, 14-4 in takeaways, 36-32 in hits, failed to score on two power plays, and won 60% of the draws.
The Islanders led 16-12 in blocked shots, had eight giveaways while the Capitals had nine, and did not score on three man advantages.
The Capitals open a two-game set against the Penguins on Thursday night. Action from Capital One Arena can be seen on NBC Sports Washington beginning at 7 PM ET.
By Harrison Brown