Sat, Apr 16, 2016 - Page 20 News List

Capitals frustrate Flyers in opener


Washington Capitals players celebrate a goal against the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference quarter-finals series at the Verizon Center in Washington on Thursday.

Photo: AFP

Washington frustrated Philadelphia by killing all of their power plays, beating the Flyers 2-0 on Thursday in the opening game of their NHL Eastern Conference first-round playoff series.

In the day’s other Eastern Conference opener, the New York Islanders edged Florida in a nine-goal encounter, while in the West, San Jose narrowly beat Los Angeles and Dallas comfortably beat Minnesota.

Washington’s penalty kill went for four-for-four, while goaltender Braden Holtby produced seven saves during the Flyers’ power plays and 19 in all.

The Capitals did take their chance on the power play, with John Carlson scoring in the second period with a shot that deflected in off teammate Chris VandeVelde. Jay Beagle added a late goal.

The Flyers lost second-line center Sean Couturier to an upper-body injury in the second period.

Game 2 is to be played in Washington today.

The Islanders downed Florida 5-4, with John Tavares contributing a goal and two assists, including one that set up Kyle Okposo’s go-ahead goal early in the third period.

Thomas Greiss survived a shaky beginning to make 42 saves for the Islanders in his first playoff start, while Brock Nelson, Frans Nielsen and Ryan Strome added goals for New York.

Home-ice advantage in the series now belongs to the Islanders.

Reilly Smith had two goals, Jussi Jokinen had a goal and two assists and Teddy Purcell also scored for the Panthers. Roberto Luongo made 21 saves.

San Jose’s Joe Pavelski broke a tie with his second goal of the game early in the third period and the Sharks hung on to take an important 4-3 road win in Los Angeles.

Brent Burns and Tomas Hertl scored for the Sharks in their first post-season game since losing four straight to the Kings in 2014, completing a seven-game flop in the first round. Los Angeles rode the momentum then to their second Stanley Cup title, but both California rivals missed the playoffs last year.

San Jose’s Martin Jones made 19 saves against his former Los Angeles teammates in his first career playoff start.

Trevor Lewis scored a short-handed goal and Jonathan Quick stopped 19 shots for the Kings.

Game 2 is to be played today at the Staples Center.

Jake Muzzin and Jeff Carter also scored, but Los Angeles struggled to keep up for long stretches of the two-time champions’ return to the post-season.

Dallas’ Jamie Benn had a goal and two assists in the Stars’ 4-0 win against Minnesota.

Kari Lehtonen made 22 saves for his second career playoff shutout, while Jason Spezza returned to the post-season with a nifty goal and added an assist.

Spezza was skating along the right side and initially faked a slap shot with just over 8 minutes left in the second period. After skating about another meter to near the center of the faceoff circle, he took a wrist shot and sent the puck in the upper right corner to make it 2-0.

Patrick Eaves and Radek Faksa also scored.

Game 2 is to be played today in Dallas.

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