October 5, 2019 / 1:51 AM / 15 days ago

Samsonov wins debut as Capitals get by Islanders

Oct 4, 2019; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk (55) and Washington Capitals center Chandler Stephenson (18) battle along the boards during the first period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

Goaltender Ilya Samsonov made 25 saves to win his NHL debut as the Washington Capitals spoiled the New York Islanders’ season opener with a 2-1 victory Friday night in Uniondale, N.Y.

T.J. Oshie and Jakub Vrana scored for the Capitals, who won their second straight road game.

Devon Toews tallied the lone goal for the Islanders. Veteran goaltender Semyon Varlamov, making his New York debut, stopped 26 of 28 shots.

The only goal allowed by Samsonov, a 22-year-old Russian who was Washington’s first-round pick in the 2015 NHL draft, was a fluke.

With New York trailing 1-0 in the first period, Toews fired the puck toward the net from the side boards. En route, it ricocheted off the skates of three Capitals players, the last one being defenseman Radko Gudas, before deflecting over Samsonov’s left shoulder. Anthony Beauvillier and Leo Komarov got assists on the goal, which came after a Washington turnover in the neutral zone.

Oshie broke a 1-1 tie with a power-play goal at 17:43 of the second period. John Carlson’s shot from the point was knocked down by a pair of Islanders defenders in front of the net, but Oshie dived for the rebound and chopped a backhander over Varlamov’s shoulder from the top of the slot. Nicklas Backstrom also got an assist on the goal.

Washington scored first as Vrana, who netted the overtime winner Wednesday as the Capitals opened with a 3-2 victory against the defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues, took a pass from defenseman Lars Eller to start a two-on-two break. Vrana, skating down the right wing, kept the puck and beat Varlamov with a wrist shot at 10:25 of the first. Gudas also was credited with an assist.

The Islanders’ Mathew Barzal nearly tied the score with 12:32 remaining on a spinning shot from the left point. The puck caromed off a Washington defenseman in front of the net and then clanged off the right post.

—Field Level Media

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