Capitals defeat Islanders again, retake lead in East Division

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The Washington Capitals moved back into first place in the MassMutual East Division with their second straight win against the New York Islanders, 6-3 at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York, on Saturday.

Daniel Sprong scored twice, and Evgeny Kuznetsov had a goal and two assists for the Capitals (31-13-4), who are one point ahead of the second-place Pittsburgh Penguins and three ahead of the Islanders. Ilya Samsonov made 21 saves.

Washington defenseman Zdeno Chara became the fifth defenseman in NHL history to play 1,600 games.

Ilya Sorokin allowed six goals on 30 shots for the Islanders (29-14-5).

It was the Capitals’ second straight win at New York following a 1-0 shootout victory Thursday. The teams will play again at Washington on Tuesday.

Garnet Hathaway gave the Capitals a 1-0 lead when his long shot eluded Sorokin at 2:33 of the first period.

T.J. Oshie made it 2-0 at 10:55. Nicklas Backstrom worked a give-and-go near the blue line with Anthony Mantha, taking the return pass in the left circle and feeding Oshie in front.

The Islanders cut it to 2-1 at 14:28 on the power play when Anthony Beauvillier scored on a backhand.

Adam Pelech tied it 2-2 with a shorthanded goal on a slap shot just inside the blue line at 7:37 of the second period.

Nic 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.

Sprong made it 4-2 at 14:46 when he converted a backhand feed from Kuznetsov.

Jean-Gabriel Pageau cut it to 4-3 when Noah Dobson‘s shot deflected off the back wall and Pageau backhanded it in for a power-play goal at 17:12.

Kuznetsov beat Sorokin to the far side with a wrist shot from the right circle at 7:35 of the third period to make it 5-3, and Sprong scored his second of the game at 14:43 for the 6-3 final.

Sprong was a fill-in on the Capitals’ top forward line for Alex Ovechkin, who is day to day with a lower-body injury.

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