Kuemper stops 17 shots, Capitals beat Islanders 5-1


Dylan Strome and T.J. Oshie scored first-period goals, Darcy Kuemper made 17 saves and the Washington Capitals beat the New York Islanders 5-1 on Saturday night.

Anthony Mantha, Nic Dowd and Nicklas Backstrom also scored in the third period for the Capitals, who improved to 4-2-1 in their last seven games following a six-game losing streak to further tighten the Eastern Conference playoff race. Rasmus Sandin had three assists and Trevor van Riemsdyk had two.

Pierre Engvall scored his first goal for the Islanders since being acquired at the trade deadline, and Semyon Varlamov finished with 22 saves as New York snapped a three-game win streak.

The Islanders were coming off a 4-3 come-from-behind overtime win at Pittsburgh on Thursday — their eighth third-period comeback victory of the season — but they couldn’t find any late magic against the Capitals, who moved within five points of the Islanders and Penguins for the Eastern Conference's two wild cards.

After Engvall opened the scoring at 5:18 of the first, Strome and Oshie scored to put the Capitals ahead before the first intermission.

Engvall, acquired from Toronto on Feb. 28 and playing his fourth game with the Islanders, gave them early momentum with his unassisted goal — his 13th overall this season. Strome tied it as he beat Varlamov at 6:41 with his 16th goal.

Oshie made it 2-1 with his 17th goal with 47 seconds left in the first. He has 10 points in last eight games.

After a scoreless second period, Mantha made it 3-1 at 4:15 of the third with his 10th goal.

Dowd made it 4-1 at 12:18 with his 11th before Backstrom completed the scoring with his fourth at 13:19.

With the victory, the Capitals improved to 11-6-2 against Metropolitan Division opponents this season.

The Islanders are 4-1-1 in their last six games and 11-4-3 since Jan. 27.


As part of their 50th anniversary season celebration, the Islanders honored Hall-of-Fame center Bryan Trottier, who played for all four Stanley Cup-winning teams from 1980-83. Trottier is the franchise leader in games played with 1,123. His 1,353 points — including 500 goals — over 15 seasons with the Islanders is also a team record.


Islanders forward Zach Parise, 38, played in his 150th consecutive game as an Islander. He has played in every game since joining the team in October 2021. Parise has 16 goals and 10 assists in 68 games this season.

NOTES: The Capitals earlier Saturday re-signed D van Riemsdyk to a $9 million, three-year contract that carries a $3 million annual salary cap hit. ... Islanders F Cal Clutterbuck returned to the lineup for the first time since Jan. 19 after missing 20 games. ... Islanders F Matt Martin played in his 752nd game for the Islanders to tie Mike Bossy for seventh on the franchise list.


Capitals: At the New York Rangers on Tuesday night.

Islanders: At Los Angeles on Tuesday night to open a three-game West Coast trip.


AP NHL: https://www.apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://www.twitter.com/AP_Sports

Allan Kreda, The Associated Press