The NHL is set up with a great night of action throughout April 1. Nine games are up on the board throughout Thursday night. One of these games will be between the Washington Capitals and the New York Islanders. These two teams have been solid throughout this season and will look for a big win in this one. This game will drop the puck at around 7:00 PM Eastern time on ESPN+.
The Capitals have put up a record of 23-8-4 to this point in the season, which has them sitting in the top spot of the East Division. Washington is coming off a loss in their last game, but have won ten of their last twelve games. The Capitals have been hot as of late and will look to further their lead in the East with another win in this one.
New York has started out this season with a record of 22-10-4, which has them sitting in third place of the East Division. The Islanders have lost back to back games, but have won eleven of their last fifteen. New York has been really strong throughout this season and are only two points back on the top spot. The Islanders will look to jump ahead with a win in this one.
These two teams have been strong throughout this season, which should lead to a great game on Thursday night. Washington and New York are entering this one after losses in their last game, but will look to bounce back in this one. If either team can get their game going early, it could be enough for a much needed win in this one.
The Capitals and the Islanders have met up three times so far this season. Washington hosted the first game of the season series back on January 26. Mathew Barzal had a goal and an assist on the night, but it was not enough. John Carlson and Justin Schultz each had a goal and an assist as well. Vitek Vanecek stopped 32 of 34 shots as the Capitals earned a 3-2 win at home.
The second game of the season series stayed in Washington on January 28. Casey Cizikas, Anders Lee and Oliver Wahlstrom all scored for the Islanders, but it was not enough. Conor Sheary scored twice, while John Carlson and Zdeno Chara each had a goal and an assist. Nicklas Backstrom and Justin Schultz both finished with two assists as the Capitals earned a 6-3 win.
Washington also hosted the third and most recent game of the season series on March 16. Oliver Wahlstrom scored for New York late, but the Islanders still fell short. Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin each had a goal and an assist. Ilya Samsonov stopped 21of 22 shots to help lead the Capitals to a 3-1 win to go up 3-0 in the season series.
These two teams have already met up three times throughout this season, with Washington winning all three games. New York will look to switch things up in this one as they need to get their offense going. The Capitals have had their number so far this season, but a win in this one could tie them in the standings. I expect the Islanders to come out hotter in this one as they are in need of a big two points.
Washington has been strong on both sides of special teams throughout this season. The Capitals have capitalized on 21 of their 88 power play chances, which is a 23.9 percent success rate. Washington’s penalty kill has given up 20 goals on their opponents 107 power play attempts, which is an 81.3 percent penalty kill.
The Islanders have struggled a bit on the power play to this point in the season. New York has scored on 19 of their 97 power play opportunities, which is a 19.6 percent power play. The Islanders have been a little bit better on the penalty kill this season. New York has killed off 74 of the 92 penalties against them, which is an 80.4 percent kill rate.
The Capitals have a slight edge on special teams in this one with a better power play and penalty kill. Washington has taken more penalties than they have drawn though, which could go in the Islanders favor. New York does not take a lot of penalties either. If the Islanders can stay out of the box and draw some man advantages on the Capitals, it could be enough for the win.
I expect Ilya Samsonov to get the start in the crease for the Capitals in this one. Samsonov has started in 10 games this season, going 8-1-1 in those games. He has put up a .908 save percentage and a GAA of 2.39. Samsonov’s last start was against the New York Rangers where he stopped 16 of 20 shots in the winning effort.
Semyon Varlamov will likely get the nod between the pipes for New York on Thursday night. Varlamov has earned a record of 14-7-3 throughout his 24 starts this season. He has posted a save percentage of .922 and a 2.19 GAA. Varlamov finished with 20 saves on 22 shots in his last start against the Pittsburgh Penguins, which was not enough for the win.
These two goalies have put up really strong numbers throughout this season. Samsonov has the better record, while Varlamov has the better save percentage. Varlamov has lost four of his last five games and will look to turn it around in this one. Samsonov has only lost twice this season, but I think the Islanders could pull off the win in this one.
Washington has been strong so far this season against the Islanders. The Capitals have won all three games against them, which has helped them grab the top spot in the East. I think New York can bounce back at home in this one though. If the Islanders can play their disciplined game, I think they can come out hot against this Capitals team on Thursday night.
BetOnline has New York listed as a -116 against the money line in this one. This implies that the Islanders will win this game around 53.7 percent of the time. I think that this line makes sense with New York at home. The Islanders have been strong this season and I think they can hand Samsonov his third loss of the season. I like New York as slight favorites in this one.