Preview: Islanders Look to Bounce Back As They Host Capitals

The New York Islanders look to regroup after Saturday’s disappointing 6-2 loss to the Blue Jackets when they host the Washington Capitals Tuesday night at Barclays Center. The loss to Columbus ended a six-game streak in which the Isles had earned at least a point (5-0-1).

This is the third meeting between these division rivals this season. The Capitals defeated the Islanders 2-1 on October 15, but the Islanders got revenge when Jaroslav Halak made 38 saves in a 3-0 shutout win on December 1. Both previous meetings took place in Washington. This is the Capitals first visit to Brooklyn this season.

Jaroslav Halak is expected to start in goal for the Islanders while Braden Holtby is scheduled to be in the crease for Washington. Halak played for the Caps late in the 2013-14 season and the Islanders acquired his rights in a trade with Washington in the summer of 2014.

The Capitals enter the game playing well, having gone 4-0-1 in their last five games. Holtby made 20 saves in shutting out the Vancouver Canucks 3-0 on Sunday.

Washington Capitals at New York Islanders

Barclays Center — 7:00 PM EST

2016-17 Season Series: 1-1-0

Washington Capitals – 17-7-3 — 37 points

Road Record: 6-3-3

Hot Players: Evgeni Kuznetsov, Nicklas Backstrom, John Carlson

Projected Lines:


Marcus Johansson – Nicklas Backstrom – T.J. Oshie

Alex Ovechkin – Evgeny Kuznetsov – Justin Williams

Andre Burakovsky – Lars Eller – Jakub Vrana

Daniel Winnik – Jay Beagle – Tom Wilson


Karl Alzner – John Carlson

Dmitry Orlov – Matt Niskanen

Brooks Orpik – Nate Schmidt

Starting Goaltender

Braden Holtby


New York Islanders – 11-11-5 – 27 points

Home Record: 9-4-4

Hot Players: John Tavares, Anders Lee, Josh Bailey

Key Injuries: Adam Pelech

Projected Lines:


Brock Nelson – John Tavares – Josh Bailey

Andrew Ladd – Anthony Beauvillier – Shane Prince

Anders Lee – Casey Cizikas – Cal Clutterbuck

Nikolay Kulemin – Ryan Strome – Jason Chimera


Nick Leddy – Travis Hamonic

Thomas Hickey – Johnny Boychuk

Calvin de Haan – Dennis Seidenberg

Starting Goaltender

Jaroslav Halak

Game Notes

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]1)[/miptheme_dropcap]

The Capitals have a tendency to get off to fast starts. Washington is outscoring opponents 25-10 in the first period. If the Islanders can survive the first period with a lead or even, they should have a good chance to compete for the rest of the game.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]2)[/miptheme_dropcap]

The Islanders expect to have defenseman Johnny Boychuk available tonight. Boychuk injured his hand when it was hit by a shot during the Islanders third-period collapse against Columbus Sunday. X-rays on his hand were negative and Boychuk practiced yesterday for the Isles.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]3)[/miptheme_dropcap]

The Capitals have done very well against the Islanders in recent games. Washington is 7-1-3 overall in their last 11 games and 4-0-2 in their last six road games against the Islanders at Barclays and Nassau Coliseum.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]4)[/miptheme_dropcap]

Isles forward Andrew Ladd has excelled against the Capitals. In 44 career games against Washington, Ladd has scored 20 goals and has 34 points. Ladd has played better of late and the Islanders would love to see him step up tonight against the Caps.

(Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
(Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]5)[/miptheme_dropcap]

Both teams are getting a lot of offensive production from their defensemen. Washington’s defensemen have at least a point in 22 of the team’s 27 games totaling four goals and 49 points. The Capitals are 15-4-3 in games when their defensemen register at least a point.

The Islanders are second in the NHL with 19 goals from their defensemen. Isles defensemen have 57 points this season. Whichever team gets more production from their blueline will have a big advantage.

This is a tough division matchup and the kind of game the Islanders need to win if they hope to actually pick up ground in the playoff race in the Metropolitan Division. The Isles need to keep winning and keep their confidence up, but Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals are hardly easy opponents.