Skip to main content
game recap

Daniel Winnik helps Capitals defeat Islanders

Forward scores twice in Washington's first win of season

by Katie Brown / NHL.com Correspondent

WASHINGTON -- Daniel Winnik scored twice and the Washington Capitals defeated the New York Islanders 2-1 in their home opener at Verizon Center on Saturday for their first win of the season.

Winnik and linemates Jay Beagle and Tom Wilson were tasked with shutting down John Tavares and the Islanders' top line for much of the game. The Islanders were limited to five shots in the third period, in part due to Washington's fourth line and tight defensive play.

"I think it's something that all three of us has done throughout our career," Winnik said. "[Beagle] is a great shutdown guy and it's a role I've had throughout my career. We like that challenge and it's nice when you can chip in offensively."

Braden Holtby started in goal for the Capitals (1-0-1) and made 21 saves.

Ryan Strome scored and Thomas Greiss made 26 saves for the Islanders (0-2-0).

Video: NYI@WSH: Greiss denies Ovechkin's wrister

"I feel like we probably played a little bit better game today," Tavares said. "We had our chances, [we] just weren't able to bury them."

Winnik scored at 11:58 of the first period when he redirected John Carlson's shot from the right point past Greiss to give Washington a 1-0 lead.

Strome scored on the power play from the left circle at 13:49 off a feed from Brock Nelson to make it 1-1.

Winnik scored his second goal of the game at 7:46 of the second period. Karl Alzner chipped the puck up to the neutral zone and Winnik, shadowed by Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic, skated into the zone. Hamonic tripped and Winnik skated in on Greiss and scored on his blocker side.

It was Winnik's fifth multi-goal game of his NHL career and second multi-goal game with the Capitals. Winnik previously scored two goals in a game on March 18 against the Nashville Predators.

Capitals coach Barry Trotz was happy with the contribution from his depth players and the fourth line's performance.

"I don't consider them our fourth line right now," Trotz said. "They're probably one of our best lines. Tonight they were fantastic."

Washington did not score on any of its five power plays and is 0-for-8 with the man-advantage through two games.

 
Goal of the game

Strome's power-play goal was initially credited to Cal Clutterbuck. Strome's shot from the left circle found its way past Clutterbuck and into the back of the net.

Video: NYI@WSH: Strome banks a power-play goal past Holtby

 

Save of the game

Greiss made a kick save on a shot by Beagle on the rush in the third period. Beagle thought it went in. "I closed my eyes," Beagle said. "I came to and it wasn't in the net."

Video: NYI@WSH: Greiss kicks away Beagle's wrister

 

Highlight of the game

Winnik scored his second goal of the game on a breakaway, made possible by a heads up play from Karl Alzner. Winnik took advantage of Hamonic losing his footing and skated in alone to the net.

Video: NYI@WSH: Winnik slips his second goal past Greiss

 

Unsung moment of the game

Alzner made the type of defensive play he is known for when he sprawled to the ice to break up a 3-on-1 rush in the second period.

 

They said it

"They're very prepared, they're a group that's very focused. The guys that were in [Thursday], that line, they came in and said hey we didn't get a lot of ice time we want to get a little sweat on and get our game going here, and they did. That's just the kind of guys they are, real good pros. I thought they were outstanding for us tonight." -- Capitals coach Barry Trotz on the fourth line

 

"It was nice. I spent a lot of years here and it was nice. It was an emotional moment, for sure. It was a nice gesture by the fans and nice gesture by the Capitals, for sure." -- Islanders forward Jason Chimera on the Capitals' video tribute

 

"We had a couple that didn't bounce our way and they had one that really bounced their way. The ice really gets an assist for [the second goal]. Overall, we've just got to keep building and getting better every day. Obviously, it's a really good team over there. It was a good game by us, but I think there's areas we can improve on." -- Islanders forward Cal Clutterbuck

 

Need to know

Islanders forward Mathew Barzal made his NHL debut. He took three penalties in 10:10. … The Capitals are 14-2-1-1 in home openers (at Verizon Center) and have won 13 of 14 games against the Islanders.

Video: NYI@WSH: Barzal takes a pair of penalties

 

What's next

Islanders: Host the Anaheim Ducks at Barclays Center on Sunday (6 p.m ET; PRIME, MSG+, NHL.TV)

Capitals: Host the Colorado Avalanche at Verizon Center on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; ALT, CSN-DC, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Winnik's two-goal night leads Capitals past Islanders

View More