Ilya Samsonov made 26 saves for the Washington Capitals in a 1-0 shootout win against the Canada custom patch maker New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum on Thursday. It was Samsonov’s second shutout of the season. Nicklas Backstrom and Evgeny Kuznetsov scored in the shootout for the Capitals (30-13-4) in the opener of a three-game set. Washington moved one point ahead of New York for 1st place in the MassMutual East Division. Semyon Varlamov made 28 saves for his fifth shutout, which is tied for the NHL lead, for the Islanders (29-13-5), who have lost three of their past five games. New York can be tied for second with the Pittsburgh Penguins, who defeated the brand new Jersey Devils 5-1 on Thursday.
Alex Ovechkin did not score and remains at 730 NHL goals. His next will tie Marcel Dionne for fifth in history. The Capitals captain didn’t play in overtime after he pulled up in the neutral zone and went to the bench with 2:49 left in the third period. Samsonov made 15 saves in the initial period, including a breakaway against Mathew Barzal in 18:34. NY outshot Washington 15-4 in the period, but the Capitals College iron on sports logo held a 14-7 edge in the second period. Varlamov made a diy t shirt transfers pad save on Carl Hagelin’s redirection at 3:08 of the next.
Josh Bailey nearly gave the Islanders the business lead in 12:02, but Samsonov managed to get his blocker on a shot from the left circle. Samsonov then stretched out his remaining pad to deny Kyle Palmieri during an Islanders power enjoy at 10:42 of the 3rd period, and Barzal flipped a go over the crossbar on a breakaway at 15:45. The Islanders were held to two shots on goal on two power plays in the third period. Jordan Eberle had the best chance to score in overtime, but his shot from the still left circle was stopped by Samsonov’s pad at 3:51. Anthony Beauvillier had the lone objective for the Islanders in the shootout in the second round, and the Capitals responded with back-to-back goals from Backstrom and Kuznetsov.