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Capitals Takeaways

Takeaways: Sandin, Capitals Rout Islanders To Kick Off Mentors’ Trip

Rasmus Sandin and the Washington Capitals put on a show en route to a 5-1 victory over the New York Islanders. Takeaways from the key divisional victory.



Rasmus Sandin and his dad, Patric, already shared a dad's trip together earlier in the year while he was still in Toronto, but the second go-around was even better for Patric, who watched his son continue his red-hot start with the Washington Capitals and lead the way for a big, much-needed win over the New York Islanders.

Sandin put on a show with three assists, Trevor van Riemsdyk, Dylan Strome and Anthony Mantha had multi-point outings and Nicklas Backstrom, T.J. Oshie and Nic Dowd also scored en route to a 5-1 key divisional victory over the Islanders.

Here are all the takeaways from the much-needed win, which keeps Washington within five points of playoff position:

Rasmus Sandin Stays Hot, Trevor van Riemsdyk Steps Up As Top Pairing Adds Spark

Sandin has suited up for the Capitals for just over a week, but with each performance, there is more promise and hype surrounding the 23-year-old as he continues to impress at both ends of the ice.

After working in tandem with TVR and pulling off a highlight-reel spin pass to set up Strome for the team's first goal of the game, Sandin added yet another helper on a quick feed to T.J. Oshie in front.

He wasn't done there, as in the third, he fired a point shot that his idol and countrymate Backstrom deflected past Semyon Varlamov to make it a 5-1 hockey game.

With another hat trick of helpers, Sandin pulled off his third multi-point performance in four games since joining the Capitals. He now has eight points in his first four games in D.C.

Meanwhile, van Riemsdyk had both secondary assists as he efficiently moved the puck and showed what he could do after inking a three-year extension earlier in the day. The 31-year-old has hit the 20-point mark for the first time in his career.

Anthony Mantha, Nic Dowd Bust Out

Mantha has — quite literally — been waiting all year to find twine, and one of his several chances finally ended up in the back of the net as Mantha played in front of his father, Daniel Pronovost, at UBS Arena.

The 29-year-old got to the front of the net and got his stick on a tap pass from Alex Ovechkin in front. It was an easy strike as he lobbed the puck past Varlamov to make it a 3-1 game.

Mantha's goal was his first in 19 games and first since Dec. 31. He also added an assist to make it a multi-point outing.

Then, later in the third, Dowd, playing in front of his father Alan and his brother Josh, capitalized on a turnover in the offensive zone and sniped home a rocket of a shot for his first goal since Jan. 3, ending an 18-game drought.

Dowd, 32, has now tied his career high of 11 goals.

Darcy Kuemper Stands Tall, Washington Capitals Defense Steps Up As Martin Fehervary & Nick Jensen Return

For the most part, Washington limited the Islanders' opportunities and didn't let them generate too much in the offensive zone. The Capitals were able to tighten things up defensively and played a physical shutdown game, and Maritn Fehervary and Nick Jensen's returns certainly helped there as they positioned themselves well to stop New York's forecheck.

With the exception of the first goal against, which was put in accidentally by Alex Alexeyev for the second time in as many games, Darcy Kuemper was stellar and came up big when he had to, stopping the Islanders on odd-man rushes and confidently stepping out to make some big saves. He finished with 17 saves on 18 shots.

Milano-Strome-Oshie Line Stays Hot, 17 and 77 Score

The Capitals' third-line combination of Milano-Strome-Oshie has been one of, if not the best, line at even strength of late. They have been dangerous in the offensive zone, and Saturday was no different as they generated quite a few chances and put on a lot of pressure in the offensive zone.

It paid off as both Strome and Oshie found the scoresheet. Strome finished with a goal and assist and extended his point streak to four games, with seven points over that span. Oshie's goal to put his team in front in the final minute of the first marked his fifth goal in eight games, and he has points in seven of his last eight contests overall.

Additional Ice Chips

– Ovechkin and Matt Irwin were tied for the team lead in shots (4).

– Fehervary had a whopping six hits in his return.

– Sandin again led all skaters in ice time with 23:27 minutes. TVR logged 23:11.

– Backstrom won six of nine draws.

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