NHL Game Summary - NY Islanders at Washington
(Thursday, October 9th)
Final Score: Washington 6, NY Islanders 1
Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Peter Bondra scored two goals and Olaf Kolzig made 17 saves to lead Washington to a 6-1 pounding of the New York Islanders at the MCI Center in the season-opener for both clubs.
Jaromir Jagr tallied a goal and an assist for the Capitals, who have won three consecutive season-openers dating back to 2001.
John Gruden, Mike Grier and Jeff Halpern also scored for Washington, which lost in six games in the first round of the playoffs last year to the Southeast Division champion Tampa Bay Lightning.
Mariusz Czerkawski scored the only goal for the Islanders, who fell to 1-24-3 in the last 28 meetings with the Capitals. New York is also 0-13-2 in the last 15 trips to Washington, DC, and has not recorded a victory in the nation's capital since March 2, 1997.
Garth Snow stopped only 20 of the 26 shots he faced for the Islanders before being lifted in the second period.
New York, which went a perfect 7-0 in the preseason, played its first regular- season contest under new head coach Steve Stirling. The Islanders turned to Stirling, who has been a member of the organization since 1997, after Peter Laviolette was fired in the offseason.
Washington struck only 2:04 into the game on Jagr's goal. The winger took a pass from Boyd Gordon along the boards and skated towards the right circle where he fired a wrist shot through Snow's legs for an early 1-0 lead.
The Capitals made it 2-0 with 13:39 left in the opening stanza. Snow misplayed the puck behind his own net and Brian Willsie got to it first for Washington. Willsie sent a pass in front of the net to a wide open Gruden, who blasted a slap shot from the slot that beat Snow into the empty net.
New York was able to get on the board on Czerkawski's score just 56 seconds later. Czerkawski, who returned to the Islanders after having spent last year with Montreal, snapped a shot from a difficult angle along the left boards that found its way under Kolzig to get the Islanders within 2-1.
Washington regained its two-goal advantage on a power-play tally with only 52.8 seconds left in the first period. Sergei Gonchar controlled the puck at the point and slid a pass across the zone to Bondra, who one-timed a shot from the top of the right circle that beat Snow.
The Capitals put the game out of reach in the second as they scored three times in the first 6:24 in the period.
Grier made it 4-1 with a power play tally 1:30 into the stanza after Jagr's slap shot from the slot was saved, but Snow left the rebound out in front and Grier tapped home the rebound for the score.
Bondra scored his second goal of the game just under three minutes later as he tapped in a loose puck in front of the crease and Washington then made it 6-1 on Halpern's score with 13:36 left in the period. Halpern was standing in the right circle and got a small piece of Jason Doig's shot and the deflection beat Snow..
The goal put an end to Snow's night and Rick DiPietro replaced him between the pipes. DiPietro was solid in net and saved all 11 shots he faced.
The Capitals improved to 14-14-2 all-time in season openers and New York fell to 8-16-8 in its season-opening game...Washington was 2-for-9 on the power play, while the Islanders did not convert on any of their three chances with the extra skater...Gordon picked up an assist in his first-ever NHL shift...The Capitals led Tampa Bay 2-0 in the playoffs last season before dropping the final four contests...Czerkawski played with the Islanders from 1997-2002.
10/10 01:33:49 ET