After a quiet start, Inter took the lead with their first real opening of the match. Rodrigo Palacio was sent free down the right hand side and his low cross into the box was turned home by Icardi at the front post.
Lopez stepped up to take the kick, but he saw his low effort turned behind by Handanovic.
Things were to get even worse for the Blucerchiati just moments later, as Eder was dismissed for picking up two yellow cards in quick succession.
Despite their numerical disadvantage, Sampdoria continued to threaten and Lopez worked some space on the edge of the box before firing in a strike that was tipped wide by the keeper.
They came close again moments later when Gianluca Sansone's free kick looked to be heading into the top corner, but Handanovic clawed his effort over the bar.
With a minute of the first half remaining, Handanovic denied Sampdoria again as he stretched out a hand to push Roberto Soriano's effort wide to keep his side ahead at the break.