Three Keys to Tonight’s Islanders-Capitals Game

By: David Kolb

@DavidKolbMSG

NEW YORK ISLANDERS (0-1-0) @ WASHINGTON CAPITALS (0-0-1)

PREGAME COVERAGE: 6:30 PM, MSG+

The Islanders head to Washington tonight to face the Capitals at Verizon Center. The Isles look to bounce back after dropping their season opener, 5-3, to the Rangers while the Caps lost, 3-2, in a shootout to the Penguins Thursday.

ISLANDERS KEYS FOR SUCCESS

The Caps possess serious firepower up front and the Islanders’ best defense may be their offense in tonight’s game. They have to get pucks deep behind the Caps’ defenders, and then gain possession to play “keep away” from star forwards like Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Nicklas Backstrom.

Despite playing on the road and not having the last change, coach Jack Capuano must figure out a way to have Travis Hamonic play across from Ovechkin. Hamonic has the size and strength to slow down and contain the five-time All-Star.

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KEYS TO STOPPING THE CAPITALS

Whenever you play the Caps, you always have to be cognizant of where Ovechkin is on the ice, especially on the power play. No. 8 scored 50 goals last year and lit the lamp 19 times while playing the left point when Washington had the man advantage.

Ovechkin feeds off the crowd, so an opening goal on the road would take the raucous Verizon Center crowd out of the tilt.

Islanders Tavares Capitals Ovechkin Road 101416

 

X-FACTOR

After skating seven seasons with the Caps, Isles forward Jason Chimera will look to score his first point as an Islander against his former mates tonight. Chimera recorded two 20-goal seasons, and two 40-point campaigns while playing with Washington.