Washington Downs Long Island, 5-1; Sandin Posts Three Assists, Van Riemsdyk Two

Photo by Rich Graessle/NHLI via Getty Images

The Washington Capitals downed the New York Islanders by a score of 5-1 at UBS Arena on Saturday night. Goaltender Darcy Kuemper made 17 saves in the victory.

Washington’s Lines at New York

Alex Ovechkin — Evgeny Kuznetsov — Tom Wilson
Sonny Milano — Dylan Strome — T.J. Oshie
Anthony Mantha — Nicklas Backstrom — Craig Smith
Conor Sheary — Nic Dowd — Nicolas Aube-Kubel

Rasmus Sandin — Trevor Van Riemsdyk
Martin Fehervary — Nick Jensen
Matt Irwin — Alexander Alexeyev

Charlie Lindgren

Scratched: C Aliaksei Protas

Injured: D John Carlson (upper-body, missed 31st straight game, out indefinitely); RW Connor Brown (ACL, 63rd, indefinite); LW Carl Hagelin (hip, 67th, indefinite)

With Fehervary and Jensen both returning from three-game injury absences, Vinny Iorio and Gabriel Carlsson returned to the AHL’s Hershey Bears while Irwin bumped down a pair and Alexeyev slid over to the right side. Wilson took the right wing on the top line after the team’s 3-2 shootout loss to the New Jersey Devils on Thursday. Milano skated on Strome’s line while Mantha dropped to Backstrom’s. Smith bumped up to Backstrom’s trio as well while Sheary moved down the fourth.

New York’s Lines

Anders Lee — Bo Horvat — Pierre Engvall
Zach Parise — Brock Nelson — Kyle Palmieri
Matt Martin — Casey Cizikas — Hudson Fasching
Simon Holmstrom — Otto Koivula — Josh Bailey

Adam Pelech — Scott Mayfield
Alexander Romanov — Ryan Pulock
Sebastian Aho — Noah Dobson

Semyon Varlamov
Ilya Sorokin

Scratched: LW Ross Johnston, D Parker Wotherspoon

Injured: C Mathew Barzal (lower-body, ninth, indefinite); C Jean-Gabriel Pageau (upper-body, 12th, day-to-day); RW Oliver Wahlstrom (lower-body, 32nd, indefinite)

First Period


5:18, 1-0 New York: While Irwin took down Fasching in the neutral zone, Engvall raced to the net on a two-on-one, dangled, and banked a backhanded pass attempt in off of the chest of Alexeyev, who laid down to try to block a pass, and through the five-hole of Kuemper.

6:41, 1-1: After Van Riemsduk grabbed the puck rimming off of the half-wall, Sandin took possession, spun around, and fed Strome in the slot. Strome, who extended his point streak to four games (three goals, six points), ripped a wrister through the five-hole of Varlamov. Strome has now recorded nine points (five assists) in his last seven games. In four games with Washington, Sandin has registered six points (five assists).

19:13, 2-1 Washington: Van Riemsdyk set up Sandin in the left dot from the high slot. After Sandin slightly hesitated, Oshie tipped in his fake shot and pass in front of the blue paint. Oshie now has goals in five of his last eight games and 13 points in his last 12 games (seven goals). Sandin earned third multi-point performance in his first four games with Washington. Since March 3, Sandin’s seven points (six assists) in four games lead NHL defensemen. Van Riemsdyk notched his second multi-point performance of the season and the sixth of his career.

Shots: 12-5 Washington

Other Notable Stats: Washington led 15-5 in hits and 5-1 in blocked shots but New York, who had just one giveaway while Washington tallied five, failed to score on the lone power play and won 65% of the faceoffs in the period.

Second Period



Shots: 20-12 Washington (8-8 in the second)

Other Notable Stats: Washington, who failed to score on two power plays, led 20-9 in hits and 15-4 in blocked shots while New York, who was held scoreless on three, won 64% of the faceoffs and had just eight giveaways while Washington tallied 10.

Third Period


4:15, 3-1 (PPG): After Ovechkin tipped Kuznetsov’s pass in front of the net to the gut of Varlamov, Mantha slammed one in at the side with Varlamov down and out and a wide open net staring him down. The goal snapped a 19-game goal-scoring drought for the 28-year-old. Strome’s 31 assists this season are tied for second on Washington. Ovechkin has registered six points (4g, 2a) in his last six games. In 16 career games against New York, Mantha has recorded 11 points (seven goals).

12:18, 4-1: After Pelech poked the puck away from Sheary in the slot, Dowd got it and ripped it high-glove on Varlamov. Dowd has now tied his previous career-high in goals (2020-21: 11 goals in 56 games).

13:19, 5-1: Backstrom tipped in Sandin’s wrist shot from the point in the left dot off of a faceoff win. Smith also got a touch on the puck before Backstrom did.

Shots: 27-18 Washington (including 7-6 in third)

Other Notable Stats: Washington won 24-19 in hits and 19-11 in blocked shots. New York, who gave the puck away 11 times while Washington did so 12, led 8-3 in takeaways won 58% of the faceoffs. Neither team scored on the power play (Washington had four opportunities, New York five).

Current Eastern Conference Wild-Card Standings

Washington trimmed New York (with one game in hand) and the Pittsburgh Penguins’ (who have two) lead by five points for the two wild-card spots in the Eastern Conference. They also trail the Florida Panthers (none) by one, lead the Ottawa Senators (three) by one, and remain tied with Buffalo Sabres (two).

Next game: Tuesday at New York Rangers (7 PM ET, ESPN, ESPN+)

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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6 Responses to Washington Downs Long Island, 5-1; Sandin Posts Three Assists, Van Riemsdyk Two

  1. Jon Sorensen says:

    3 of 4 points from playoff teams in last two games.

  2. Anonymous says:

    God that FIRST two D-pairs are gonna be fire next year. If we pair one this ofensive D in Sandin and Carlson with defensively excelent player like Jensen and Fehervary have been today….in whatever combo….That’s what I call the line up.

    This game again showed you need both types.

    But with Alex and TVR behind it ….I can imagine this works very well.

    Still bit worried about forwards, but Let’s hope that will be solved and we will find those right combinations….there is plenty of potential there, I believe. Especially if the team takes same route as in D-core = veterans joined by youngsters. Than I am tend to believe, this group can play very good hockey.

    • hockeydruid says:

      Don’t count things that have not happened yet. I have thought to often that runs at the end of the season would carry over only to be disappointed then next season. Remember other teams watch film of us and see what is happening and make changes accordingly. Not wanting to throw water on your enthusiasm but just check it a bit.

  3. Jon Sorensen says:

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