Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
The Washington Capitals downed the New York Islanders, 2-0 Saturday afternoon at the newly minted UBS Arena on Long Island. Vitek Vanecek stopped all 23 shots he faced in his third career shutout. The victory improves the Capitals record to 21-8-9 (51 points) on the season. With the win, the Capitals improve to 7-2-1 against Metropolitan Division opponents this season.
The Capitals wasted little time in denting the twine. Tom Wilson opened the scoring early in the first frame to give Washington a 1-0 advantage at the first intermission. After a scoreless middle frame, Alex Ovechkin added an empty net goal for the 2-0 win.
Vitek Vanecek (6-4-0-5, 2.62 GAA, .907 sv%) got the start between the pipes for the visiting Capitals. Semyon Varlamov (2-5-0-1, 2.77 GAA, .910 sv%) got the start in goal for the Islanders.
Scratches: Dmitry Orlov (COVID protocol), Carl Hagelin (COVID protocol), Conor Sheary (COVID protocol) and Dennis Cholowski.
The Capitals opened the scoring with a laser from Tom Wilson (10) at 4:35 of the first period. Aliaksei Protas (6) had the lone assist.
#ALLCAPS 1-0. Tom Wilson opens up the scoring. beautiful pass from Protas. pic.twitter.com/5kSVAEGVPK
— Capitals Replays (@capsreplays) January 15, 2022
Capitals forward T.J. Oshie sustained an upper body injury and did not return to the game.
The first period concluded with the Capitals holding a 1-o lead. The Capitals led in shot attempts 18-11.
The Capitals and Islanders skated to a scoreless draw in the middle frame.
The Capitals led in shot attempts 16-2 in the second period and 34-13 after two periods.
The Capitals led in expected goals for percentages 65.71% to 34.29% after 40 minutes of play.
Both teams were 0 for 2 on the power play after two periods.
The Capitals and Islanders skated to a scoreless draw for most of the final frame. Alex Ovechkin would add an empty net goal for the 2-0 win.
WE. LOVE. OVI. GOALS. pic.twitter.com/af9OaR8fBN
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) January 15, 2022
The Capitals dominated the possession metrics in this one. They led in shot attempts (CF%) 49-27, scoring chances for (SCF%) 55.81% to 44.19%, and expected goals for percentage (xGF%) 60.13% to 39.87%.
The Capitals are back in action on Sunday when they host the Vancouver Canucks at Capital One Arena. Puck drop is set for 2:00 PM.
- Vitek Vanecek stopped all 23 shots faced against the Islanders, marking his third career shutout.
- Two of Vanecek’s three career shutouts have come against the Islanders (also April 27, 2021 vs. NYI).
- Aliaksei Protas picked up the primary assist on Wilson’s goal, his sixth assist of the season and his fourth primaryu assist.
- Vitek Vanecek recorded his third career shutout.
- Alex Ovechkin scored his 25th goal of the season, which ranks second in the NHL. That also marks Ovechkin’s league-leading sixth empty net goal of the season.
- Ovechkin’s six empty-net goals (in 38 games) equal his career-high from 2019-20 (in 68 games).
- The Capitals have won four-straight games against the Islanders dating back to last season and have shutout New York in three of those four games.
- Evgeny Kuznetsov recorded an assist against the Islanders, his 24th assist of the season. Kuznetsov extends his point streak to three games (1g, 2a) and has recorded eight points (4g, 4a) in his last nine games.
- The Capitals are 16-4-3 this season when Kuznetsov records a point.
- Nicklas Backstrom recorded an assist against the Islanders, marking his 726th career assist. Backstrom is now tied with Luc Robitaille for the 49th most assists in NHL history.