New York Islanders at Washington Capitals

 

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

In an East Division matchup in the Nation’s capital the first place Washington Capitals host the New York Islanders.

The Islanders had won two in a row before a loss in their last game where they were shut out. The team has six points and is three points back of Washington in the East Division and while their defense has been solid on the season their attack has really struggled.

The Capitals have nine points through three games and all three of their losses have been tough ones in overtime or a shootout. They are just the opposite of the Islanders in that their attack has been legit but their defense has been an issue giving up an average of 3.09 goals per game. The team is shorthanded, as Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Ilya Samsonov and Dmitry Orlov are all out for four games due to COVID-19 tracing.

This is the first game between these teams this season.

Second Shutout Loss

The Islanders are 2-5 on the season and their three wins they have totaled nine goals while they have been shutout in their two losses. They were on the losing end of the stick in their last game falling to the New Jersey Devils 2-0. The team gave up both goals in the first period in the game where they outshot New Jersey 28-24.

Ilya Sorokin was in between the pipes in the last game taking his second loss in as many starts giving up two goals on 24 shots after giving up five goals in his season debut. # I GK Semyon Varlamov (3-0 .033 GAA) may get the start in this game and he has been hot to start the season only giving up one goal in his first three starts.

Mathew Barzal leads the Islanders with four points through five games and he had a goal and two assists in the game before the shutout loss to the Devils. Four players for New York have two goals but the team has been out of sync on the attack only averaging 1.80 goals per game.

The Islanders split the four games facing the Caps last season.

Coming Up Short in Extra Time, Again

In their last game the Caps were at home and lost to the Buffalo Sabres 4-3 in s shootout and all three of the team’s losses have come in OT or a shootout. Justin Schultz, T.J. Oshie, and Nicklas Backstrom all scored in the game in the losing effort and two of the goals cam,e on the power play.

Washington lost in a shootout in the game where they were outshot 48-31 and while they scored two goals on the power play they gave up three goals on the five power play chances they gave the Sabres.

Vitek Vanecek (2-0-2 2.87 GAA) gave up three goals on 51 hots in the last game and he had given up eight goals in his previous two starts. he will be getting the start in this game with Ilya Samsonov out due to COVID-19 tracing.

Nicklas Backstrom leads the Caps with four goals and seven points and he has a goal in each of the last two game where he also had an assist. Jakub Vrana and Tom Wilson have scored three goals apiece for a Washington team that is averaging 3.27 goals per game.

The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet
Rating:

The Caps have lost three of their last four games, have lost their last seven home games against the Islanders, and have lost five of their last six games, overall, to New York. Still, let’s brush aside those trends and look at an Islanders team that is coming off a shutout loss and has struggled to score the puck this season. I think they will struggle to score the puck again and while their D will be pretty good, like the last game, they will give up at least two goals. The Caps will step at home coming off a loss and snap their seven-game home losing streak against the Islander with a win against them in this game.

Prediction:
Capitals +120

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Full-Game Total Pick
Rating:

The two key head-to-head betting trends for this game points to the Over, but I will buck those trends. The Islanders have played solid defense on the season and while they were shut out in their last game they only gave up two goals and they have only given up three goals in their last three games. The Capitals have not played well on the defensive side of the ice on the season but in this game they will play good D facing a New York attack, which has been less than stellar on the young season to say the least. In this East Division game the Under is the pick.

Prediction:
Under 5.5 goals