The New York Islanders held the Washington Capitals' big guns in check on Saturday night, but couldn't find a way to get their own offense going, falling 2-1 at Verizon Center.
Ryan Strome scored the Islanders' lone goal, but a pair of goals by Daniel Winnik and 21 saves by Braden Holtby proved to be the difference.
"I thought we came in here and played a solid game and kept their top line off the scoreboard," head coach Jack Capuano said. "The Winnik line played real well for those guys and added some offense, we just have to score some goals ourselves."
Both of Winnik's goals came off bad bounces against the Islanders. His first came as a deflection off a John Carlson point shot to put the Capitals up 1-0 at 11:58 of the first period, while his second-period breakaway was the result of Travis Hamonic losing an edge in the defensive zone.
The Winnik goals sandwiched Strome's first of the season, a power-play goal at 13:49 of the first period. Continuing the offensive theme of the game, Strome's goal was intended as a centering feed, but caromed off of Brooks Orpik's skate and past Holtby for the power-play goal.
Video: NYI@WSH: Strome banks a power-play goal past Holtby
"There's not a lot of time to think about it, we have to play tomorrow night," Strome said. "It's important that we get on the same page. For bits and pieces of these games we've had some guys going, some guys not going, we need all of our guys on the same page - 12 forwards, six D for 60 minutes and we'll be fine. We have a good opportunity tomorrow at home."
Greiss looked sharp in his regular season debut, stopping 26-of-28 shots. He came up with some key stops to keep the Islanders within striking distance, stopping an Alex Ovechkin one-timer in the dying seconds of the second period and coming up with a big stop on a Jay Beagle one-timer in the third period.
That kept the Islanders in the game right to the end, as Johnny Boychuk was teeing off at Braden Holtby with the Islanders swarming the net. Ultimately, time ran out on the Islanders.
Video: NYI@WSH: Greiss denies Ovechkin's wrister
"It wasn't that bad of a game," said Jason Chimera, who was returning to Washington for the first time since joining the Islanders. "We had some things, our penalty kills [went 5-for-5], but we have to get more at 5-on-5 forsure. We battled hard, we had some good chances to tie it."
The Islanders get right back to it and look for their first win on Sunday night, as they host the Anaheim Ducks in their home opener at Barclays Center at 6 p.m.
NOTES: Mathew Barzal made his NHL debut on Saturday night, skating 10:10, with a hit and six penalty minutes.