The New York Islanders and Washington Capitals will do it all over again after a blowout win for the Caps last night. The Capitals took it to the Isles in Brooklyn, a 7-3 route leading us into the final leg of the home-and-home tonight. It isn’t just last night, the Islanders have been playing awful hockey lately. They looked like a team who were going to be competing for a wild card a few months ago, but they threw all that away.
With the defence they were putting out on the ice, even when they were winning, there was the belief that the offence wasn’t going to be able to keep it up. Yeah, they’d be okay still, but okay isn’t good enough with the train wreck known as the Islanders’ defence. The offence must pour it on or they’re going down. The inevitable pullback phase was going to happen for their offence, and with no defence to help out, what’s happened is a steep decline for the Islanders.
The Islanders were on an eight-game losing streak before ending it against the Flames. The positive vibes didn’t last too long, as they came back and took a 7-3 shellacking against the Capitals last night. The Islanders must find some motivation to get back tonight and not embarrass themselves on consecutive nights. The Caps are looking to gear up and make a long run in the playoffs.
They haven’t been as dominant as we’ve seen in previous years. However, that never seemed to help them much in the playoffs anyway. They are currently tied with the Penguins at 87 points, but have played less games. The Capitals will have two more games than the Penguins down the stretch. Get our free Islanders vs. Capitals pick below.
N.Y. Islanders vs. Washington Capitals Pick
The 7-3 win was the third win in a row for the Capitals. It’d be about the right time to pick it up. While the Capitals haven’t been as dominant this regular season, the Penguins haven’t looked like an unbeatable team, either. The Pens are a team the Capitals have notoriously struggled against, as Sidney Crosby has owned the upper-hand in that regard. Alexander Ovechkin has once again putting up staggering numbers, though. Number 8 has scored 42 goals on the year to lead the NHL. On the season, the Capitals are averaging 3.04 goals per game, 11th, and allowed 2.91 goals per game, 15th. So, those numbers are certainly off for a team who routinely ranks in the top-5. In any event, the offence and Braden Holtby are certainly possible of getting hot at any moment.
For the Islanders, they’ve been finding how tough it is to win games when the offence isn’t performing. In their last ten games, they’ve scored more than 3 goals only once. Considering how well they were performing earlier in the year, it’s quite a different look for them. Additionally, the defence hasn’t picked up. They’ve allowed 4.8 goals per game in their last six games, so it’s more of the same for them along the blue line. The Islanders have won just one of their last ten games. In their last 33 games, they’ve managed to win only 10 games. With last night still fresh in their minds and the playoffs out of reach, I don’t see how this team gets up to play again tonight. It probably won’t be a beatdown like last night, but I expect the Capitals to take a 2 or 3 goal win here on Friday night.
PICK: CAPITALS -1.5 (+150)