Daniel Sprong scores twice as Washington Capitals blast the New York Islanders

Apr 24, 2021; Uniondale, New York, USA; New York Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokin (30) defends his net as center Jean-Gabriel Pageau (44) checks Washington Capitals right wing Tom Wilson (43) off the puck during the first at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

Daniel Sprong scored two goals to lead the visiting Washington Capitals to a 6-3 win over the New York Islanders on Saturday in Uniondale, N.Y.

Evgeny Kuznetsov had a goal and two assists for Washington (31-13-4), which is in first place in the East Division. Garnet Hathaway, T.J. Oshie, and Nic Dowd also scored and Brenden Dillon had two assists. Ilya Samsonov made 21 saves.

Sprong skated on the Capitals top line in place of Alex Ovechkin, who is day to day with a lower body injury.

Anthony Beauvillier, Adam Pelech and Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored for the Islanders (29-14-5). Mathew Barzal had two assists and Ilya Sorokin made 24 saves.

Hathaway gave the Capitals an early 1-0 lead. Nick Jensen intercepted a pass from Scott Mayfield near center ice, entered the zone and fed Hathaway, whose shot from along the boards eluded Sorokin at 2:33.

Oshie made it 2-0 at 10:55 when he found open space in front of Sorokin and scored off a pass from Nicklas Backstrom below the right circle.

Later in the period, Samsonov made three quick saves on Jean-Gabriel Pageau alone in front, but the Islanders pulled within 2-1 at 14:28 when Beauvillier scored on a backhander during a scramble in front on a power play.

Pelech tied the score 2-2 with an unassisted short-handed goal at 7:37 of the second period when his slap shot from just inside the blue line got between Samsonov’s pads.

Dowd got to a loose puck in the left circle, spun and scored over Sorokin’s shoulder to give the Capitals a 3-2 lead at 12:21. It was his ninth goal of the season, a new career high.

Sprong converted a pass from Evgeny Kuznetsov on the rush to make it 4-2 at 14:46.

The Islanders cut the deficit to 4-3 with 2:48 left in the second period when Noah Dobson’s shot caromed off the back wall and Pageau was able to knock it in out of midair.

Kuznetsov’s goal from the right circle on the rush made it 5-3 at 7:35 of the third period, and Sprong scored his second goal at 14:43.

Capitals defenseman Zdeno Chara played in his 1,600th career game.

–Field Level Media