NHL: Capitals sack coach Reirden after Stanley Cup playoff elimination

FILE PHOTO: Aug 12, 2020; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Washington Capitals head coach Todd Reirden talks from behind the bench against the New York Islanders in the second period in game one of the first round of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) - Washington Capitals have sacked coach Todd Reirden after a second consecutive first-round playoff exit, the National Hockey League team announced on Sunday.

Reirden’s two-year coaching stint ended just three days after the Capitals bowed out of the Stanley Cup playoffs with a 4-1 series defeat by the New York Islanders.

“We have higher expectations for our team, and we felt a fresh approach in leadership was necessary,” Brian MacLellan, senior vice president and general manager of the Capitals, said in a statement.

“We would like to thank Todd for all of his hard work and efforts with our organization.

“Todd has been a big part of our team for more than half a decade, including our Stanley Cup run in 2018, and we wish him and his family all the best moving forward.”

Reirden, 49, led Washington to a 89-46-16 record over two seasons.

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Alex Richardson